Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The device formerly known as the mobile phone

This phrase was repeated several times by Sir David Brown during the course of his presenting the prestige Mountbatten Memorial Lecture in Manchester earlier this evening, under the auspices of the IET. It was a fascinating presentation, with some lively observations about history and technology changes since (Lord) Louis Mountbatten was born in the year 1900 AD.

So many things are coming together in the latest generation of mobile phones that even a few years go were unimagined. The title of the lecture was Ringing The Changes - The Then, Now And Wow! Of Seamless Mobility.

He presented some visionary ideas on how technology and society is changing, and will continue to change in the near future, some of these having far reaching effects on our lives. He concluded his talk by outlining how businesses like Motorola (of which he is the chairman here in the UK) are driving down the prices of mobile handsets such that they will be affordable in developing countries to more than the small governing elite, with the contracts for the low cost handsets setting the pace to overcome the "digital divide", and bring untold economic and educational benefits to millions of people.

I came away thinking how much the Church of Jesus Christ is given a great open door by means of these changes to bring the Gospel as the water of life to a thirsty world. All of us can each play a small part in ensuring that these technical developments may become more a force for good than a means for increasing wickedness and unrighteousness. Pray for all those involved in the enabling and steering of these changes, whether in business, science, technology, engineering, government, as well as for those disciples of Christ who are seeking to use these means to further the kingdom of God.