Prediction for the Future: Entire Wireless Web in Your Pocket

by: Michael Eisenberg

I can't help but escape the following futuristic prediction, you will carry your personal version of the web in your pocket. Let me unpack that sentence:

Carry - on your mobile phone
Personal - Because you will not need the whole web and won't have room to store it all and you only need what YOU want.
Web - Because that is what you want from your phone
In Your Pocket - Because it won't be able to get to the device over the air.
This WSJ Article entitled Demands on Network are an iPhone Hangup gets it right. The laws of physics won't allow wireless bandwidth hogs to be carried synchronously (or asynchronously) over the air, especially not at peak times. This will force networks to build ever-more capacity and it still will not solve the problem. However, there is a solution.
Storage capacity is still increasing at a rapid rate (way faster than bandwidth) and its footprint is shrinking. A terabyte of storage in your home can be less than $100! And today you can already pack 32GB+ on your mobile phone. We are not far from the day where you will be able to get a terabyte of storage in your mobile phone. It is much cheaper to build in storage than it is to build cell towers, even without the physics problem.
What we need is software for that phone that downloads your personal web to your phone and lets you browse it locally. It needs algorithms that are smart enough to know your browsing habits and caching mechanisms to keep it updated. If you need to download the delta because you decided you need something new, that is no big deal. It also needs to do something uniquely mobile which is pre-cache on the phone relevant local data, since much mobile web use is for local information.
That is the future: Your music library, your email and YOUR WEB in your pocket. We just need the software to get us there. Drop me an email if you have figured it out.