from DemosHelsinki Website
will revolutionize the areas of our lives
that are completely unsustainable,
like housing, transportation,
Cars, houses, records, you named it.
Efficient manufacturing and logistics made it possible
to create an unprecedented global overflow of stuff. Ownership
quickly became about being someone; it was a way of defining who you
Yet something is still markedly different now: most of us have stopped buying CDs and DVDs.
Young people aren't
buying cars anymore. Books are selling fewer copies. Many things we
used to buy and keep at home we no longer do.
Music is accessed, not owned.
The same goes for your favorite film. Ten years ago you would
have bought a DVD to watch over and over again. Now you have it on
stand-by on Netflix.
What would it be like to actually have the convenience of your own car without owning it?
Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is a model for traffic without ownership. You pay a monthly fee for it, like with Spotify, tell the app where you are going and get instant access to taxis, Ubers, buses, and so on. Everything is available on-demand and ownership is no longer needed.
MaaS is part of a trend called the "as a service" model.
The framework began as a simple idea in software development, when companies started paying for access instead of buying permanent licenses for office programs.
Now the same model is moving into the material world.
are all "as a service" companies.
"As a service" models become more and more feasible when the number of sensors that surround us increases. This development is often called the "Internet of Things".
But when we consider the Internet of Things from the perspective of disappearing products and the increase in new service models, we can effectively conclude that it is, in fact, the "Internet of No Things."
What is so revolutionary about the "as a service" model then? Why is it good not to own things?
There are two main reasons and these are related:
When we buy things we easily get bored with them and forget they exist, or, alternatively, use them only because we own them.
On-demand is about using things when we actually need them. It leads to the more effective use of resources. AirBnb gets more people to use the same apartment and Uber gets more people to use the same car.
It takes a large amount of natural resources to manufacture a car, house or smartphone in the first place. We are now running out of those resources. That's why digital "as a service" platforms show great promise.
In the future the "as a service" model will revolutionize some areas of our lives that are completely unsustainable right now such as housing, mobility and communications.
Can you imagine a world where you no longer have a phone in your pocket but instead pay for communication as a service? It might sound like sci-fi, but companies around the world are already offering housing and even "Smart City as a Service".
A world without smartphones? It may very well happen...