2006 commuters: what’s missing from this photo?

Look at this photo from 10 years ago. Why is it so odd to modern eyes?

At around the time the finishing touches were being put on the very first NEXT conference 10 years ago, I was taking this photo at London Bridge station in London:

London bridge commuters 2006

Take a good look at it. There’s something odd about it by today’s standards, isn’t there? Something you wouldn’t see today.

Figured it out?

What’s in their hands?

Here’s a clue:

man on phone

Yes, the chap on the right there is the only person using a mobile phone in the whole photo. And he’s making a call.Not one single person is staring at their mobile.

The following year, the iPhone would be released, and the change to the commuting landscape would be overwhelming.

10 short years. But everything changes.

The reason for the low image quality is that the photo was taken by a phone that looked like this:

Nokia phones