The Economist has an online feature this week on Digital Nomads, people for whom mobile connectivity has become a central part of life. The piece features three videos, with the CEO of Sun Microsystems, Jan Chipchase of Nokia in Tokyo, and a podcaster and IT worker in Mumbai. The last of these is the most interesting – Abhishek Ashok Kumar documents a week in his life via voicemail, photos and video, and presents a picture of modern-day India where mobile communication is essential for everyone from mechanics, taxi drivers to IT workers.
It’s somewhat surprising that the reality Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, shows in his slideshow is somewhat more mundane than the world Kumar shows off – sure, Sun’s got a clever system that allows workers to customize a workstation with a smartcard, but “workplace hotelling” is so 1990s. Roadside repair services that advertise by painting cellphone numbers on the Mumbai streets? That’s exciting.