Apple attempted to do their demo over Wi-Fi, but as you can see couldn’t manage to get things up and running due to overload. So Jobs had to ask everyone in the audience, repeatedly, to shut off their Wi-Fi so the show could go on. A bizarre hiccup for a company in its prime, showing off its latest wares
This incident is more than slightly ironic. I remember when the iPhone was first introduced and there were reports of network administrators complaining that the numerous WiFi devices were overloading their capacity.
I’m wondering if a pissed off Steve Jobs will kick start a new round of innovation at Apple to develop ways for WiFi stations and devices to communicate more efficiently.
Of course there’s a much broader issue at play in the U.S. in terms of efficient use of broadband spectrum. It’s more complex than simply switching from AT&T to Verizon. The entire spectrum licensing scheme that’s currently in place in the U.S. needs to be rethought. Device manufacturers will probably be driven to explore new data exchange protocols that are more efficient. I’m not even sure if such a thing is possible, as network communication is pretty efficient already. And content producers will have to start thinking about producing and delivering different qualities of content depending on delivery route speeds to their clients. And great battles are already being fought about whether a tiered structure of internet access is the way to go i.e. “pay more to get more data faster”.
Suffice it to say, the next great barrier for computing and communication is network capacity, not physical processing or memory as Steve jobs found out.