By the end of 2012 there will be more mobile devices in use globally than people. This startling claim is made by the new president of Europe’s largest professional society of engineers, Dr Mike Short, who has recently taken office.
The current global population is around seven billion, but Dr Short is confident that uptake of mobile devices will pass that mark during the course of next year. He also predicts that China and India will each have more than one billion mobile subscriptions during the first half of 2012.
Dr Short said: “Right now there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes. Unlike toothbrushes, mobile phones and devices are wonderfully inclusive and with access to the internet they are empowering for billions of people, especially those in emerging nations who will access the internet for the first time through mobile.”
For Dr Short, this is a welcome development that will bring benefits of shared innovation, connectivity, internet access and many new applications associated with people’s education, transport, and health needs. The accelerating use of machine to machine communications will also continue to propel this growth of services in cars, smart meters and smart cities.
He continued: “We are all innovators now in a digital world, thanks to the marriage between the two great innovation platforms of the last 20 years now coming together; internet and mobile. This combination will drive digital innovation everywhere as these technologies become ever more pervasive and useful to all people.”
The IET is celebrating its 140th year as Dr Short becomes the 136th president. The IET has over 150,000 members in 127 countries.