The Future of Innovation: What Does the Post-PC Era Hold?

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Do you believe the future is in mobile or enchanted objects? Will your mobile phone continue to learn more about you and become a more dominant part of your life? Or will the objects around you spend more time learning your habits (like Nest, for example) to improve your life?That’s what the MIT Enterprise Forum brought several hundred people together to discuss on October 9th. If you haven’t been to a MIT Enterprise Event, they are always incredibly insightful and thought-provoking. The events cover a range of topics and industries, while providing access to some of our leading thinkers. The Mobile/Enchanted Objects panel brought together some of Boston’s best and brightest on the topic, including:

The Moderator, Lora Kratchounova (Disclosure: my boss), encouraged each panelist to introduce themselves and take a position on the future.

Michael Davies – Mobile
Michael strongly believes the future is in Mobile. He points to three key reasons:
1. Powerful broadband connectivity – It’s flexible, easy to use and powerful.
2. Easy to develop apps – Smart phones are always improving in functionality, as developers can constantly create better apps
3. Everyone has one, all of the time – The ubiquity of the phone points to its continued growth and dominance.

David Rose – Enchanted Objects
David is betting that wirelessly connected objects will gain in popularity. He points to objects wearability, usability, loveability, tangibility, learnability….While David believes the mobile will act as a remote control for these objects, he believes it won’t be the exclusive remote. These objects may also be controlled manually and with local remotes.

Ari Adler – Pro-both
Ari shared compelling use cases for both enchanted objects and continued dominance of mobile. He took a middle road, noting that there’s a time and place for both. It’s a fair assumption to think we would use both, rather than only or the other in the future.

Jennifer Lum – Leaning toward Mobile
Jennifer’s company, Adelphic, aims to rethink targeted mobile advertising, so it’s not surprising she sees a strong future in mobile.

Adam Laughlin – Leaning toward Mobile
Adam’s decision criteria for deciding between mobile and enchanted objects comes down to a simple question: ‘Do I want to think about it?’. If yes, mobile. If not, delegate the task to an object or system. The Nest thermometer is a good example of something you’d rather not think about – just know the temperature I like when I come home and do it. No extra thinking required.

The MIT Forum’s calendar is chock full of events. Be sure to check some out in the future for some solid after-work learning.