Just how wired are we? Here's a personal illustration from San Francisco's Financial District. There's a bus stop across from my office building. But I can get a better seat going home if I walk to an earlier stop about a block away. While waiting for the bus, I usually have five to ten minutes to clean up my email mailbox using my iPhone. Once on the bus, I quickly start up my laptop and launch Outlook. My bus travels around the block and stops in front of the office. By this point, my iPhone has synched with Exchange. And while waiting outside my office, my laptop connects to the office wi-fi and syncs Outlook with Exchange. I head home with my email fully synched, including the work I did at the bus stop.
Of course, I didn't come up with this intentionally. Rather, I only realized it was happening one day as I observed my Outlook synching at the second bus stop.
Okay, this feels like an ostentatious use of technology. And I'll admit I can connect to wireless broadband on my laptop, making this exercise unnecessary. But this experience underscores how connected our urban space really is. It's also one of those rare instances of technology working better than expected. I just have to savor that.