One of the reasons telework is possible–maybe the main reason–is bandwidth, lots of it. And that same bandwidth makes lots of new fun things possible too.
While we normally think of bandwidth in terms of Internet speed, a case can be made that it goes deeper than that. The speed of your processor, your hard drive, your local area network, and even your human ability to process information all fits into the equation. And except for the us, everything else is getting faster and faster. More and more the real challenge for teleworkers, freelancers and home based business owners is keeping up with what’s going on and managing change.
Consider for example, Boxee. A an open-source (free, in other words) program that allows your computer to serve as a media center for your TV. Play movies from CD, downloaded movies, or go to numerous websites and watch theirs. If you insist on watching something live, you can’t fire your cable company. Yet. But once advertisers accept the reality that it doesn’t really matter how their ads get in front of your eyes that will change. Once ‘regular broadcasts’ are delivered simultaneously over the Internet you won’t need a cable company for TV, just broadband web access.
A growing percentage of the US population has already fired their phone company and switched to mobile entirely. If you’re over 40 you probably have a feeling that part of having a home means having gas, electrcity, and phone lines hooked up. Leave out the phone lines and . . . what, maybe the house will drift away? If you’re over fifty you probably still worry when you call long distance because of the expense when, of course, now it costs the same to call next door or across the continent. (Actually you can call anywhere in the world free, not even any cell minutes to worry about, if you use Skype for to call computer-to-computer).
Speaking of phones, add some bandwidth and processor horsepower and you can have what’s called enhanced reality as shown in this video :
More power under the hood also means that the way you interact with your games, your TV, and your computer will change too. Check out this Microsoft Project Natal video: