I had a few meetings yesterday morning. One at 7.30 am Currumbin, the next at 9.30am at Coomera and then I had scheduled a Google Hangouts catch up with a contacts in Hong Kong and the Philippines for 11am. It was not an overly risky schedule, other than the fact I’d discounted the risk of holiday maker peak season traffic.
So here I was coming back along the M1 when I hit traffic. When I say HIT, I mean hit to the extent that I almost bounced backwards. It was moving at somewhere between 5 km/h and a standstill. Every now and then – I’d also get that annoying person ahead who thinks changing lanes actually makes a difference, as he pushed and squeezed in front of me.
It pretty quickly became clear though that I would not get back in time for the 11 o’clock Google Hangout catch up I had scheduled. A pity – coming into the festive season I probably wouldn’t get the chance to check in with these guys till next year now.
“Hang on though” I thought, “we live in an technologically sophisticated era. Lets see if I can figure this out” …while I was sitting, twiddling, waiting. What did I have at my disposal. My iPad. Great, I checked my glove box for the 4G wifi hotspot USB stick. Damn, that one is in my laptop bag at home. What else? – I know, I can create a personal hotspot with my iPhone.
That thought was enough to inspire me into action.
So I tore off the freeway and zipped up the closest exit. Found a nice tree to park under (it was sweltering here on the Gold Coast yesterday), set up my iPhone personal hotspot, connected to my iPad and was running. I logged into Google, jumped into my Google calendar and hit the video link on the Hangouts appointment.
Next roadblock, the Hangouts software wasn’t installed. No problems there, by the time I figure out the app wasn’t installed, I was already (automatically) taken to the Google Hangout page in the app store. 3 minutes later and its installed on my iPad. 30 seconds later I have joined the hangout and am happily connecting with my overseas friends. To say it aloud – that was free online video conferencing, in my car on the side of the road, sheltered from the sun under the shade of a tree.
Writing this post leaves me feeling exhausted from that frantic rush – but WOW. From conceptualising, taking inventory to execution, it took me less than 5 minutes to set up a free, international video conferencing infrastructure in my car, with no technicians or hardware other than a phone and tablet. It took longer to find a park than it did to build this remote communications system.
What an amazing world we live in.
Given its Christmas eve though – now I am really looking forward to simplifying my life for a few days by turning all these intrusive devices off and sitting with my family – just enjoying being present with them 🙂
Merry Christmas everyone.