Remember the days of beepers, then cellphones, and drat! All of a sudden everyone knew where you were all of the time. Gone were the days of telephoning someone at home, and by golly, they were actually home when you called. When you told a friend to meet at 16:00, you would both arrive at the same time. And, of course, being the little sister, I had to manage my popular brother Darrell’s entorage of repeat girls that kept calling the house, and have a list of prepaired excuses why he wouldn’t take her call. His room was extension 8 in the house, we had PBX.
So today you are being watched no matter what you do, you location is being tracked by your cellphone. That’s if, in South Africa, you subscribe to the service and agree by law on a monthly basis to be followed. Or, as a parent, you can always know where your grand-mother is (she really shouldn’t be driving anymore and getting lost anyway). The company Cellfind have an amazing service. The whole company uses maths, simple algorithyms, and triangulate your location using three base stations. And then, are able to send an sms, MMS of your location, or show your location on their website, but only as close as 990m.
If you have an asset, in South Africa you do not need a person’s permission to locate them. So vehicle tracking etc. are based on this conept. Problem is, what if your ex puts his cellphone in yoru car and hides it? He can still find you, as long as the battery on that cellphone lasts. I’ve been a victim of that with an ex, not the coolest thing in the world when he uses that information about you in court.
So where are we now? We have GPS navigation on our cellphones, and a range of amazing cellular applications with a variety of functions using LBS, that is Location Based Services. If you want to be found, CellFind have a service allowing you to send a code from your phone, saved as a speedial, which distributes a message to your preferred contacts. Amazing if you have a medical problem and a language barrier, but the company have focused on marketing it as a security and safety tool. What about a social text service, sending your 4 selected friends “PLEASE HELP ME” when on a blind date that is not working. The applications are endless.
Short wave and long wave radio I find to be fabulous, and I won’t get into details, but a whole city such as Vilanculous in Mozambique survived on SW, before cellular was introduced into the town and charged R2.85 per minite. It was more of a status thing I guess, and lets’ not doubt privacy too. On short wave radio your conversations are public, and very intriguing after midnight LOL.
What my point here is, that you don’t need fancy cellphones and social media applications to communicate, and let people know where you are, or when etc. Twitter is famous for status updates with a location, I loved twitter during the World Cup Soccer in Johannesburg (frantically trying to ‘accidently’ bump into the Dutch football team without success).
Let ‘s go back to basics, and remember that a system that is working shouldn’t be changed. Don’t think too advanced in terms of technology, when you already have something in existence that works. Just a thought here.
I love new advances in cellular such as Layar and augmented reality. Amazing when you can use your cellphone like a camera, turn the phone towards a building, and then a video pops up in front of you, of what a person posted last night, about “what really happened” at this bar. Evil thoughts…
Great for businesses, great for tourism, great for connecting with locals, and sharing information. Of course in Africa, we need power to charge a cellphone first, or use a cellphone as a torch when the power cuts, or when your laptop battery dies. Either way, we need a sim card and a service provider with signal where you are. Again, I’m just saying.
I love cellular!