Sunday, October 27, 2013

Voice Free Communications - An Experimental Science Project

In another 2 days, I will have been in Seoul for a month.

One experimental project that I made for myself as a research, game and life discovery is to NOT have a mobile phone telco voice line. It was subtly untitled. And after several friends asked me about it - ie. why, what, how - here is my short description about it.

There is no right nor wrong answers. Essentially it is an experiment.
Significance: To live in Seoul, without having a mobile phone voice line.
Why: Seoul is one of the most internet enabled city in the world. It is the most. Therefore, one is likely able to tap onto WiFi internet from cafes, shops, government sponsored hotspots and more.
Why 2: Several years ago, perhaps say 10 years ago, there wasn't such a complete device as a smartphone. The means of communicating and organising an event or meeting, goes into a complete high priority. People will take proper notes of the time, date, location, landmark, directions of how/when/who to meet up. When the teacher announced the sport's practise has changed venue to a new location, we diligently wrote it down, even drew pictures of landmark in the area.

There is no guessing or "laziness". Punctuality is a virtue and a respect. You could tap your mind and memories (if you're older than 15) about the "good old days".

How: I have a smartphone, it is Sony Xperia L, at 4.3 inches. There is no telephone voice line. While the phone is able to receive WiFi signals, Bluetooth, and NFC. I use it often to pre-cache some maps of places I will visit during the day. What I lack with a phone line, it adds up with a more conscious effort to ensure an appointment's venue and time is correct.

Circumstances: What if there are some circumstances that a voice line must be used to contact a number or office?
There are public phone booths everywhere. And as a BONUS, in Seoul, many subway stations have a "free call booth", a huge black box with a huge touch-screen. Beside it is a connected phone. Anyone can use it.

Would you want to try this experiment?

In another perspective, when the first phone rang, everybody was crowding around it to "use it" or be in the forefront of using a seemingly "wireless" communications system. Out of the ether. Then came the short-lived "pager". You "ping" someone's pager, and they in turn had to seek a public phone to call you! Then came the mobile phone. Basic, yet mobile. With that came the SMS, short messaging service. Essentially it is cheaper and concise to use, and the world went crazy with SMS speed typing tournaments as well. Then the next huge jump was a phone that does all that, and all of what a PDA (personal digital assistant) could do.

That and more features soon followed. Someday, the phone or "the device" could do so many more things, and inseparable from human, it might truly be implanted to our hands, or cheeks, or even brain.

It is possible to make an SOS call anywhere in Seoul.

The free black-box phone. You can dial anywhere. Not just home or office land line, you can dial a mobile phone number.

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