The extract titled ‘Your life in 2033’ painted a vivid picture of life in the digital age. In less than 20 years we will have sensors inside us monitoring the best time to wake us up, diagnostic mobile apps that scan our bodies to reveal any health problems and haptic devices embedded in our shoes, which will give us a gentle pinch to remind us we’re running late for a meeting.
Whilst this is all impressive stuff, where the digital revolution will have the most profound impact, will be in emerging markets, where technological isolation and bad policies have stymied growth and progress for years.
There are already more than 650m mobile phone users in Africa, and close to 3bn across Asia. Whilst the majority of these people currently use feature phones, this will change and the smartphone revolution will profoundly transform these countries.
The article gives an example of Congolese fisher women using mobile technology to manage their fish supply to keep it fresher for longer, with smart devices becoming a substitute for a formal market economy.
But the bigger picture is that connectivity will give emerging markets the ability to collect and use data. Data itself is a tool and in places where unreliable statistics about health, education, economics and the population’s needs have stalled growth and development, the chance to gather data effectively is a game changer.
Everyone in society benefits, as governments can better measure the success of their programmes, and media and other non-governmental organisations can use data to support their work and check facts.
Very interesting and thought provoking extract from Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen's book and we’re looking forward to reading the rest of it.