Mission impossible: Public places or public transportation during rush hour + try to stream music, video or even try to load simple news sites.
It hasn’t really bothered me before, but lately just trying to read comments on Facebook or Linkedin has crippled the connection completely.
One would think that the reason is overload on 3G networks, but it seems the problem might be “buffer bloat“. I haven’t researched this any further myself, so I can’t say for sure, but the problem must be quite common.
The problem must be incredibly common. The problem is that most consumers probably don’t know what the problem is, nor would they think of looking for solutions.
After reading up on buffer bloat, it seems like it is a problem that would be worth looking into more. The fact that the first fixes could be done on our own devices, without having to depend on everyone else fixing theirs too, is great. It means that the basic egoistic desire to be ahead of the pack, would possibly create an interesting product.
Not only would the product solve a real problem, but the communication strategy that could be built around it is mouth watering. Instead of wanting to break my phone into pieces, I would actually be enjoying a flying car, floating over a congested information highway.
I would see the alpha-version of the application as a simple plain text browser, without any cache or built in buffer. Once the MVP has been built, and verified to be functional, features like device specific network access priority, intelligent selection between plain text / full content depending on available network data… the list goes on.
As long as smart devices are increasing in numbers, and the networks have problems keeping up, the demand for such an application might just be big enough to make it interesting.
Who knows… maybe as a little evening project I would look further into the idea.