Re: Wireless ecommerce

From: Max More (
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 16:03:58 MDT

At 09:58 AM 5/25/00 , Hal wrote:
>I know a lot of us spend time thinking about the future. Can someone
>explain to me what forms wireless ecommerce might take, on a grand scale?
>I try to envision shopping on my cell phone or wireless PDA, and it
>doesn't sound very attractive. Could this really take over a significant
>fraction of the purchases I make today? Presently I buy some things
>in stores, and some things online, but I don't very often find myself
>walking around and wanting to buy something online.

Hal: The history of predictions of technological projections suggest great
caution, but I do see a potentially sizeable role for wireless ecommerce.
(Disclaimer: I own stock in Qualcomm, and makers of wireless components
including RF Micro Devices and Kopin.) The obvious application already
being used is to check stock prices and short news items. However, look
ahead a few years.

We will have broadband wireless access combined with shopbots. You might be
driving down the street when your wireless device (PDA or whatever you want
to call it) notifies you that a new book on a subject of interest to you
has just been added to the stock of a nearby bookshop. Or: It's near a meal
time, and a local restaurant that serves food that fits your preferences
knows that you're driving nearby and sends you a discount e-coupon if you
will come and eat at their establishment. Multiply this by many possible

>Adding to that the fact that mobile platforms have to be compact, and
>therefore the display area is limited, the shopping experience can't
>provide much in the way of quality and pleasure. Looking at the world
>through a window the size of a deck of cards is not going to be an ideal
>way to shop for goods, it seems to me.

Ah but the display size won't always be so limited. Companies like
Microvision (disclaimer: I own stock in MVIS) intend to give you a display
equivalent to a desktop monitor even if you're using a cellphone or other
handheld device (or clip-on device). 3-D interactive displays won't be far
behind. (Do a search at and you'll find a recent article
called something like "3D Finally Gets Real".)


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute.
CEO, MoreLogic Solutions. or

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