If you want to see the rate of technological adoption and get a sneak preview of the next big popular device or app to emerge, just ride the train.
The train is a good predictor of what’s hot now and what’s bubbling. Not surprisingly, what’s trending now is predominantly Apple and Android powered phone and tablet devices, with Facebook open at least 25% of the time. The majority of riders are generally consumed in social networking, gaming and email. Rarely is anyone reading a paper book; and when they do, it really stands out.
What’s forthcoming is the eradication of traditional computers and eReaders. MP3 players are already non-existent. Anything that can be consolidated within a smaller, more advanced touch device, will.
If people on the train never looked up, they certainly don’t anymore. Paying attention to surroundings and looking outside the windows is rare. Boredom is scarce. People are overly curious with what’s on their screens.
We are slowly becoming machines. Life feels automated, predicable and controlled despite a plethora of democratizing tools and social platforms that unleash creativity.
The train hints at merged digital and physical worlds, a state of constant connectedness. The only way to disconnect temporarily is when you have to get up and get off at your stop. Those are little moments of relief, a flashback to what was.