A brief tale to illustrate how a single event can demonstrate the power of the mobile Internet. My family and I were queuing for tickets at the London Eye. The queue was more than an hour long, so I logged on to the London Eye website using my Nokia N73's browser, selected tickets for later that afternoon, and paid using a credit card. Within 15 minutes we had picked up the tickets from the machine and were free to enjoy the rest of the day, saving at least an hour of standing around.

Mobile companies are always promoting the benefits of handheld applications such as this, and while they may appeal to technophiles, late adopters often see little relevance. In this case, my sister-in-law, who is an archetypal Practical Mainstreamer and doubts the benefits of pretty much any technology, admitted being amazed that a mobile phone could help us out in such a way, and almost, but not quite, rushed to buy her own device. Perhaps I'll let her have mine next time I upgrade...