The information machine in your pocket

The information machine in your pocket

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The Royal Society Of Edinburgh

22-26 George Street



United Kingdom

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Today, most of us carry the world at our fingertips. Ian Ritchie describes the developments that enabled this ‘information machine.’

About this event

Most of us today carry a small information device giving access to all the news, information, calendars, maps, music and so on at the touch of a finger. It’s a small miracle, but where did all this technology come from?

Ian Ritchie will describe the formation of this 'information machine.' that has changed the way we live. From a seminal article back in 1945, through the invention of the personal computer. With improved wireless networks and the jump from 3G and 4G, the technology shifted from cell phones to smartphones. The introduction of the first iPhone in 2007 and countless apps. Ian Ritchie will discuss technology and software advancements that deliver the personal device in your pocket.

Chair: TBC


Mr Ian Ritchie FRSE

The information machine in your pocket image

Calling all curious minds

The RSE invites you to Curious, its summer events programme running from 1 - 14 August. Take part in a series of free, online, and in-person talks, group discussions and outdoor activities on key contemporary topics and ground-breaking ideas with some of Scotland’s leading thinkers.

  • Health and wellbeing; covering mental and physical health, while examining broader wellbeing matters.
  • Innovation and invention; from the inventions which created the modern world to the innovation that drives our path forward
  • Our planet; including climate change, biodiversity, conservation, and ecology.
  • Year of Stories; stories, whether spoken, written, sung, or filmed, give a sense of place, history or belonging. In recognition of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

You can view the full line-up at

Important points to note

  • This event is suitable for age 16+
  • Accessibility statement: We aim to make events as accessible as possible. If you have any accessibility requirements or any questions about how we can support this event, please contact the RSE Public Engagement team on
  • Covid-19: In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 we kindly encourage participants to continue to wear face masks if they feel comfortable to do so; use the hand sanitisers provided at the venue; and to stay at home if they have Covid symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19.

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