Google's Eric Schmidt At Mobile World Congress 2012 : February 28, 2012
Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt talks mobile at MWC 2012.
 
12:11 - Hugo Barra and Eric Schmidt ecapping Chrome for Android featureS: how fast it is, how secure it is, how you navigate tabs. Chrome for Android doesn't have a tab limit, like even the original Android browser did.
 
 
12:15 - Millions of people have never played Angry Birds, let alone had the Android vs. iPhone argument I love so much. Never done a Google search, watched a YouTube video. Unlimited speed should come, chips get down to $1, gigabit networks get set up.
 
12:15 - Science fiction should become a reality; voice recognition, e-books, all routinely in use today. Happening even faster than scientists predicted.
 
12:18 - Schmidt expects little robots to help you attend a concert while you're working somewhere else. Big data helps, too; governments might see crises faster. Doctors could accurately predict disease. Teachers could understand what works for kids.
 
12:20 - People, this privileged few, would be inspired by people like Steve JObs. Technology for them disappears: it'll just be there. The web will just be a presence.
 
 
12:22 - Imagines that the middle-class would also benefit, as many are now born with multiple computers and broadband will have access. You could stand in a market in Marrakesh and listen to results of a Congo election (if it happens).
 
12:23 - Talented people will always create the technology we need. Those who buy will be more active. Not create new tools, but purchase from others. Those who buy will be sophisticated consumers.
 
12:23 - The web isn't just a network of computers, but a network of minds. It has helped people recover from disaster. Unites people.
 
12:24 - For 5 billion people, the web is a scarce resource. In communities, there are only pockets of connectivity. Most don't have connectivity at all. People who live in the most remote regions.
 
12:25 - This is going to change in the next decade. China, India, etc. will have more stable connections to the Internet. Fiber will get faster and cheaper, let existing fiber networks carry more data.
 
12:26 - Fixed line isn't the only way to get people connected. Can't imagine the future simply by extrapolating from the past. Remember dial-up modems? Skipping that stage in mobile. Going directly to broadband. Phones that cost $40 now will cost $20, mobile broadband will be common.
 
12:29 - Health med application: you could take a photo and then determine where to go for medication. Smartphones are only part of the solution; not enough to get you online. You don't have to talk to a central hub. Mesh networks could get people online, share from handset to handset without a cord. Mesh with the web over 4G could work.
 
12:30 - Even modest connectivity changes lives. Can run a business, a school from home. An Angolan making music could get viral marketing from an American.
 
12:32 - A single Internet hub could share access with a whole community. Every village could have a lean-to that gets people online. In times of war and suffering it could be indispensable. Syria's atrocious actions can't be hidden.
 
12:32 - Saw this effect in the Arab Spring. With info comes power, and power comes choice. People will demand a better deal. Final lession of this future: there will still be elites, but technology will be an equalizer. Those with nothing will have something. This is why I do what I do.
 
12:34 - However, the gap may get wider, not smaller, because of the technology. 40 companies engage in censorship, affect 25 of countries. Even in the US (SOPA). The Internet is like water; it will always find a way. We need to act now to avoid the rise of a digital caste system.
 
12:35 - This is a revolution that we started; you're my people. Let's commit ourselves to creating a world where everyone has a chance to be connected. Let's all have a wonderful time here and get to work.
 
12:35 - Q&A up.
 
12:36 - Motorola has never pursued Chinese companies over IP infringement. Will Google do that? "Google has been willing to take on China pretty well," he says. Haven't closed the Moto deal yet, but we've taken a strong stand on IP and against censorship.
 
12:38 - Man pitches FairPay for peer-to-peer virtual cash. Schmidt likes the idea, but he says it's illegal. Google had considered its own virtual currency, Google Bucks, but had decided against it.
 
 
12:41 - The idea of government organizations controlling the Internet? The question to ask is, what's broken? If it works, and I believe it does, it doesn't need more. The nightmare would be many organizations regulating it in different ways. It flattens things out. DO NOT GIVE THAT UP EASILY. Cannot understate that. Moves that seem logical at first could endanger that freedom later, he says.
 
12:42 - "Completely unfair" that it costs 10, 20, 50 times more for Internet access in a country like Nigeria than it does here [in Spain].
 
12:42 - Facebook Zero has done a good job. Anything that gets more people connected is good, anything that prevents it is bad.
 
12:44 - When will we see Android on feature phones? Question is, "why don't you get a smartphone?" Moore's Law. This year's $400 phone will cost $100 next year. Companies here are working on phones that cost $100 to $150, eventually $70. When you get to that point, usage explodes. Resold phones cost $20-30, so it's very achievable.
 
12:44 - What's your message to regulators? "That's their job, they regulate, they don't deregulate." First answer, most important: regulators tend to regulate now, rather than what will be. If there's an outcome that you don't like, don't specify a specific technical solution, since things change.
 
12:45 - The market would hopefully help here. Give you tools to delete what we know about you. We give you control over that. Regulate an outcome that lets the technology get better, not to hold it back. The unintended consequence is often loss of innovation in these markets.
 
12:46 - European regulations are well-intentioned, but hard to define. Also: "don't resort to soundbites." Be careful to frame it correctly so they understand what they're losing as much as they're gaining.
 
12:47 - At the speeds of networks we're building, the distinctions between TV, radio, DVD... they all go away. They're just bits. IT all comes from one fiber connection that you get at home. Everything we've grown up was defined by technology limits we've overcome. When the connection gets faster, everything gets faster.
 
12:48 - 300-350Mbps (MBps?) sustained. You could due true holographic images.
 
12:50 - Worries about consolidating too much knowledge in one company. "What's the name of that company?" Remembering things is a technical decision. But they tend to have a pro-democracy, pro-communication effect. Correllated, though not necessarily caused by each other.
 
12:51 - Iranian asks why Google blocks Chrome in his country. It's a matter of US law. "There's no bandwidth in prison," Schmidt says.
 
12:56 - Not worried about the effect of solar flares on technology. Some equipment, not all, sensitive to it.
 
12:56 - On renewable energy: we're going to be dependent on fossil fuels for a long time. Let's build an energy grid that's more flexible, that lets you use leftover energy. In the next 20-30 years, everything you know in energy will be replaced.
 
12:56 - Worried about those who get 1Mbps being left behind as others move ahead? The percentage difference is greater, but it doesn't negate the importance of getting that connection now. The arrival of that technology is life-changing. Tablets and low-cost learning to read are going to villages. If the gap persists, at least we'll have the benefit of global knowledge.
 
 
12:58 - A questioner is worried about the disconnection between real and virtual experience. You can have a presence at a rock concert, but you won't really be there. "You can turn the volume down," he says. Schmidt says there was a meme of "bowling alone" a decade ago; that's completely false. The level of interconnectedness is incredible.
 
12:59 - Also, you can still choose to go to that concert. You can turn your phone off; it has a power button! I'm not forcing you to go. Of course, I'd like you to always keep your Android phone on.
 
12:59 - There wasn't any advertising in your future. "I was not trying to do a Google advertisement, but since you've given me an opportunity to do so..."
 
1:00 - Google search gets even more accurate. With your permission, we can give you better answers. We test whether or not you're pleased with the answers we give. We take a large collection of data (with your permission) to give you an "amazing wow" experience in search. That core mission isn't changing.
 
1:02 - Advertising is still 97-98% of Google. The most exciting part is in the mobile ad space. It can do an even more targeted ad. IF you can do it for the person who's a likely buyer, that's important. Lots of that coming.
 
1:02 - Android growth has been forked: what's your opinion on that trend? What's your opinion?
 
1:03 - That's allowed by open-source. We understand that, and that's fine. If they don't use Android Market, that's fine. We don't push them... we don't sue them, "if you get my drift."
 
1:04 - If you get everything on to Android Market, it's huge. That's the opportunity.
 
1:06 - Concerns about over-the-top content from carriers? "It's hard" for carriers. Tough regulatory environment. Hard for you to raise your data plan. A reality that you have to upgrade to 4G. "Nasty customers" that use "enormous" amounts of data. Governments regulating you to death. Simplest answer: the operators and carriers have got to come to some kind of rational collaboration. It's what's very likely going to happen.
 
1:07 - We're investing heavily in tools that help move people to a 4G world. Wireless data is often the only area growing for carriers.
 
1:09 - Is the more accurate search going to result in two different categories of search depending on whether or not you're tracking? If you choose to use Google anonymously, which we always plan to do, we'll do our best to help you in an anonymous way. Most people will find their results will get better if they're logged in. We can do a better job of search with people's permission.
 
1:09 - It's over.
 
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