The Final Frontier

I’ve been following this on Engadget for a while now. The final frontier in establishing a 24/7 connected planet for us to inhabit, for however many years until the next Mayan deemed ‘end of the world’. 

Over the last few months, airlines have been working with the FCC to develop systems which will enable them to provide wireless internet access to passengers on board their jets; ultimately allowing you to FaceTime your Ma as your plane hits turbulence flying over the South of Spain. 

This may surprise you: I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this. 

The article I’ve linked to this entry mentions the same attitude. For many, and I imagine the frequent flying business types will agree with me, the few hours we spend airborne on our way somewhere are the only few hours we get to truly get away from it all. Purely because someone else has told us it’s not allowed. Personally, I get a great deal of enjoyment out of turning my phone off and having it purely as a music player for the duration. Despite the many hours of my life I spend using it to see what other people are doing on Facebook, post amateur shots of crap/my dog on Instagram or update people on the meaningless wonderings and day-to-day happenings of my life on Twitter, my phone actually gets on my tits!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but I have developed an addiction to it, through this notion bestowed on us by the technology giants of the world, that we must be able to find out where our Ex is any given hour of the day, see what that colleague from school that we absolutely hated is saying now or reply to that email from your boss instantly. 

You want my honest opinion? I don’t think this is a great idea. Simultaneously, work has gone into allowing the cellular transmitters to be enabled on board, allowing the devices to use the same equipment which is available to them whilst on the ground. How that’s going to work is beyond me…I can’t get decent download speeds sitting in the back of my parents car on our way to Edinburgh to see the family; how is it going to work 40,000ft off the ground at 400MPH? Let’s go one step further. People worry about the air quality on board; the recycled air particles being shared with two or three hundred other human beings on board. Now imagine doing that with the fat guy in the seat next to you, who’s already encroaching on your personal space by several feet and who’s converation you now have full privilege of listening to? 

Doesn’t sound all that appealing any more, huh? 

And I haven’t even got to the best part yet: You want to use it? It’s most likely going to be extortionate!