Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 09:47 | SYDNEY
Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 09:47 | SYDNEY

Communications and consumption


Sam Roggeveen


18 July 2008 15:57

News that the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes has developed a free application to allow the site to be viewed on Apple iPhones is not earth shattering in itself, but it hints at a trend of some importance. We've talked previously on this blog about the political significance of the communications revolution (see also my Lowy Lunch presentation of last December). But modern communications also promise greater consumer empowerment.

Being able to read movie reviews on your phone before joining the queue for cinema tickets is at best a minor improvement to consumer amenity. But imagine that feature carried across to endless other consumer products. Add a bar code reader to the phone, and it will be no trouble at all to scan a product in the supermarket and get instant independent advice about its safety, its value and its competition. That holds the promise of some pretty big change to advanced capitalist economies.

Photo by Flickr user YouLookNiceTodayPhotography, used under a Creative Commons licence.