This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

January 7, 2004

Electronic Connectivity

Rapid developments are underway in the field of electronic connectivity. Sending and receiving e-mail is possible virtually anywhere that you can connect your computer to a telephone line. Internet cafés are plentiful and convenient, especially in countries outside the United States. International travelers can now stay in touch as they move, increasing their efficiency and peace of mind. The exploding connectivity trend makes it possible to keep in touch with headquarters, clients, suppliers, and loved ones.

With the growing availability of on-line courses, it is possible for people to continue their education without interruption, as they travel. Armed forces personnel and employees of the United Nations and charitable organizations can now communicate from remote areas, even in the midst of hostile activity. Satellite communications support serves this sort of consumer and also brings the world---though the internet---to remote villages in Mexico and other developing countries. Imagine being able to connect to websites and e-mail services from locations that can not be reached by motor vehicle or boat.

Now there is wi-fi-wireless fidelity. By popping an inexpensive device into a slot in your laptop computer, you can now connect directly to the internet without wires, telephone lines, or other time-consuming processes. Wi-fi access is available at coffee shops, bookstores, airports, hotels, recreational vehicle parks, and other locations already. As use of this technology grows, more accessibility will be provided in the near future. Providers of wi-fi services are aggressively expanding capability to capture greater market share, making the easy access a valuable tool for more and more users.

Before long, we expect, wi-fi will be engineered for use on airplanes. Wireless technology design is radio frequency based, which means the use of incompatible frequencies will interfere with airplane radio frequencies used by pilots. Currently, passengers on commercial aircraft are asked to turn off their cellular telephones, computers, electronic games, and any other devices that might transmit or receive a radio frequency signal.

As demand for higher continual connectivity increases, expect to see increased use of satellites that enable people to log on to the internet from virtually anywhere.

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