Magazine article The Masthead

It's Time to Think about Tomorrow

Magazine article The Masthead

It's Time to Think about Tomorrow

Article excerpt

Don't bother commenting on what happened yesterday with wireless technology, a telecommunications veteran advised the editorial writers assembled at the Space Needle.

Because tomorrow is all that really matters.

Steve Hooper, managing partner and founder of Ignition, a venture company that is helping propel the wireless Internet, opened a lunchtime address midway up the Needle by quoting Edward R. Murrow: "A reporter is always concerned with tomorrow. There's nothing tangible of yesterday."

That is especially true of the exploding business of wireless technology, and the rapid convergence of the personal computer, the Internet, and wireless devices, said Hooper, a former top executive at Teledesic, AT&T Wireless Services, and McCaw Cellular Communications.

Wireless is a wave rolling quickly across the world. In August, the United States marked its 100 millionth cellular user, Hooper said. But wireless is moving even faster in other countries, such as Finland, Sweden, Italy, and Japan. By 2004, Hooper predicted, there will be 1.1 billion wireless devices in use, and half will be Internet-ready devices.

So what is coming tomorrow? Hooper's forecasts include:

* "Unprecedented mobility of information." The power of the personal computer, the reach and breadth of the Internet and phone service, and the orderly convenience of a Palm Pilot all will be packed into one small wireless device. "We really believe that wireless technology will change the world as we know it today," Hooper said. …

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