NeoBytes :) Imagine a world without mobile phones...

NeoBytes :) is an occasional feature that takes a step back from the big headlines, to take a look at what else is happening in the vast, scary expanse of the tech world - often with a cynical eye, always with a dose of humour.

The explosion in mobile communications over the last two decades has, quite literally, changed the way we live. It's strange to recall the times when we relied on landlines for phone calls, and on huge desktop computers with enormous CRT monitors for emails, and having to carry a camera on those special occasions that called for a few snaps for the family album.

Mobile devices have changed everything. Calls have given way to IMs and texting (and sexting); we now enjoy the pleasure of spam being effortlessly pushed into the palms of our hands; and we take photos of everything - from adorable kittens to our friends doing unspeakable, drunken things - with the convenience of a camera in every handset. 

Music and video everywhere, apps for just about anything you can imagine, addictive gaming, social media... these are all things that we now take for granted on the powerful little computers that live in our pockets and handbags. But what would the world be like without them? What if we wanted to enjoy all of these wonderful things without the simplicity of a mobile phone? 

Qualcomm has put together a rather amusing video showing just how terrifying this prospect would be. The company has been a big player in the mobile industry in recent years, with its Snapdragon chipsets in hundreds of millions of devices across the world. The next-generation Snapdragon 800 chipset - which we recently spotted on a Windows RT development device at Microsoft's BUILD conference - looks set to be the next big thing in mobile. It's expected to feature in the new LG Nexus 5, along with up to 3GB of RAM and a 13MP camera.

But before it launches on devices, take a moment to pause and reflect on just how wonderful our mobile phones really are - particularly when the alternative is to have a lunatic flinging a giant Angry Bird in your direction while you're standing at the bus stop.

Source: YouTube

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I can remember when mobile phones were a luxury that most people couldn't afford so technically during the 1980s we all lived in a world without mobile phones.

Cell phones really only started breaking through beginning in Grade 10. Not that they were used at all in school though. I still remember the teachers with drawers full of confiscated cell phones. Back in my day, we spent our days playing games on our TI's.

Going further back, I can't remember people having any gadgetry on them at all in elementary school. Probably small CD players, but that's about it really.

To go back to my elementary school years later and see kids toting iPod touches is quite strange indeed. Or even when I see preteens happily tapping away on a phone and I secretly wonder if it's really their phone or their parents'. On the flipside, it's now odd to see a person not toting a cell phone or still on a feature phone, when only 10 years ago I barely knew any friends with a cell phone at all, or just 5 years ago when smartphones seemed like an exotic gadget to own.

School in the 90s where the first true "apps" were the programs you coded into your TI when you were bored in class. I still have my TI-86! I never wanted to follow the crowd and get a TI-83...

So that we can start talking again? No thanks. Talking seems to lead to arguments, that lead to ppl getting hurt. At least with phone we can argue, but no one gets hurt. imagine a world before the proliferation of color television.... welcome to my childhood. Imagining no mobile phones is a piece of cake.

Agreed. I could go without it. And sometime would rather everyone did.

We don't NEED things instantly. Tweets/emails/video will all still be there, at home/work.

This video and article misses the point that instant feedback/gratification/neediness is the problem, not the availability.

Ummm, welcome to 1990 lol. Being an old man now, born in 1980, I remember answering machines and home phones. I didn't even have a mobile phone until 1999 and I remember the crap dot matrix 1.5" screen that rendered WAP compatible websites, haha!

I was born in 1979 and I didn't even have a Mobile phone until 2005. Though I have thought about what highs school would have been like if there had been mobile phones and Facebook. Boggles my mind!

Im just 25 and yesterday when buying some beer I was asked for my ID and when I said I was 25 I've gotten the "You look young for your old age"... Ugh. Getting my first cell phone when I went to highschool and only cause the school was 20km away and I had to go by bike. I was one of the few with my own cell phone and at least it had a reason. Now I see kids wandering around with their phones...

Einstein's prophecy has been for filled.