Around the world there are more mobile phones than old fashioned landlines. The mobile phones of today are ultra-thin and ultra-light. Currently Motorola’s best mobile is a little more than half an inch thick when you fold it shut and it weighs just over three ounces. It also includes a digital camera. Mobile phone manufacturers continue to compete to provide the most features in the most fashionable phone. The technology that Martin Cooper unveiled more than three decades ago has fundamentally changed lives around the world from grocery shoppers in Europe to farmers in Africa.
There are now over two billion mobile phones on the planet. There are more mobile phones in China than in any other single country in the world. China is the biggest mobile phone market in the world. There are more mobile phones in china than there are people in the United States.
Mobile phones had revolutionary impact on the way we communicate, mobile phones let people do what they have to do, when and where they want. This freedom relies on huge investments in high technology and the evolution of smaller and faster machines.
Smartphones are sophisticated devices used for communication while offering many other different functions at the same time. These functions may include video and audio recording, navigation assistance, music and video player and web browsing through wireless networks and apps ranging from games to highly specialized dictionaries. Smartphones come in different designs candy-bar models, clamshell models, slide models and wearable watch models.
Common uses of smartphones besides phone calls and messaging may include video-conferencing, web browsing, listening to music, viewing videos, playing games, tool for different educational purposes, navigation assistant.
Technically, an ‘operating system platform open to developers’ is really the only minimum requirement to classify a Smartphone. Smartphones are generally also expected to be ‘smart’. For example if a phone that asks you for the sever address, port, etcâ€¦ to set up for email access, it’s not a Smartphone even if the advertising brochure says so. A Smartphone is cleverer than that because it will figure out the server from your email id by itself. While the majority of people may think that smartphones are for geeks it is actually the opposite because they are generally much more refined and intuitive than the non-smart phones. Smartphones can be used by the not so technically inclined as well, to do powerful things with their phones.
A smartphone can be easily recognized by its excellent email, calendar, organizer integration and powerful apps presented in a simple and intuitive way.
Symbian, Android, Windows Mobile, is the current operating systems that drive a smartphone. It is the same thing as Windows and Mac OS on our PC. These operating systems help us to interact with both the hardware and the applications on the phone. Unlike Java applications that can be installed on any ordinary mobile phone, applications that have been developed on these operating system platforms are normally much better in terms of their functionality. Through the appropriate OS such applications can interact more easily with the phone’s hardware. Application categories range from Productivity, Entertainment, Communication, Finance, Health, Lifestyle, Multimedia, News, Social to Travel and everything in between. These ‘app stores’ are accessible from the phone itself for instant downloads of both free and paid applications. There is no end to how much functionality you can add to your phone.
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Martin Cooper from Motorola created the first portable cellular device. It was shaped like a brick and it weighed nearly two pounds. Each technology allows us to do a thousand times more. The mobile phone is helping people, goods and services to move and it is driving technology forward. Back in 1915 when the thermionic tube was invented, it powered the whole world war two and after that came the transistor. The transistor allowed us to do a thousand times more with less power and after that came the integrated circuit which was again thousand times smaller, requiring less and less power while providing more computing power. We are wearing more digital storage than was available on this planet, in the year we were born by a long way. This revolution is not going to stop any time soon.
We use mobile phones to talk through it, listen, we can send very minimal message. We don’t need great technical knowledge in order to use it; we don’t even need literacy to use it. It is almost universally accessible and this in itself is a very new thing for a piece of technology.
The technology starts off being very expensive. The first mobile phone was the size of a brick and cost a couple thousand pounds and phone calls were incredibly expensive. Now they come off priced at less than twenty bucks and the rate of phone calls have become lower.
A mobile phone nowadays is used as a text messenger, word processor, calendar, a clock, a diary, a dictionary, a compass, a scanner, a computer, an internet access, an email, a gaming console, a video camera, a television, a radio, a music sharing center, etcâ€¦
The very first smartphone to have been created was named Simon. It was designed and created by IBM (International Business Machines) in the 1992s. It was in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the COMDEX (Computer Dealers’ Exhibition) show that this idea of “smartphone” was first presented to the world.
The Simon smartphone included features like world clock where it could show the time in all the countries in the, a note pad used to take notes, email, calculator, a calendar where it was possible to markup events in certain days and to set an alarm for that event, receive and send faxes and it was also possible to install and play different games.
One unique feature that Simon smartphone had was its keyboard. It was the first phone to be using a touch screen keyboard. The On-screen keyboard was a built-in keyboard showed on the screen. For using the phone’s keyboard, people had to touch the screen with their fingers just like as if it were traditional keyboard with physical buttons.
With time the technology evolved and the touch screen was no longer used just for the dialing, it was used for writing too. Smartphones with both touch screen keypad and also the standard keypad were invented because some people were unsatisfied due to the fact that it was hard to write text messages from a completely touch screen phone because of its sensitivity. Such phones were named QWERTY phones.
The QWERTY Smartphones helped people to write more easily, and because it looks like a minicomputer, they can easily use it to surf the web, use instant messengers and many other features.
The smartphones are great for business persons or anyone who wants features that a computer has, but it has the disadvantage of having a much higher price compared to normal phones. The price is expected to drop as time passes by and technology advances.
Ringtones were first invented via these devices itself. When mobile phone manufacturers first developed their devices, they had the opportunity to put music within them. That’s how we got early tones coming from the manufacturer to start with which were a series of sound to let the owners know that their phone was ringing. Firstly there was the monophonic tune and then came the polyphonic tune. Nowadays we are in a position where we call it the true tone or real sound and that is in fact an actual clip of a real piece of music.
Impact on poor countries
The mobile phone has brought more telephony to the whole continent of Africa in the last 5 years than the landline telephone was able to bring since its inversion in the last hundred years. Mobile phones are highly appreciated in Africa, they are very important because it enables the people there, to reach everyone and everyone. It is saving money, life, transportation. The mobile phone in Africa is now as important as the bicycle once was. Everybody, from a shoe polisher to a guy in the market to the highest executive, depend on mobile phones rather than the landlines. The mobile phone can be considered to be a technology that gives people the power to make things better on their own. Africa is now part of the world where the subscriber count is growing the fastest. Mobile phones give us economic benefits. They save us the trouble of making wasted journeys, make it easier to find work; they allow you to call several markets if you are a farmer or a fisherman to find out the best price for your product. They also compensate for bad infrastructure i.e. places where we don’t have good roads, postal services or fixed network. Mobile phones boost economic activities in a big way. The price of handsets has fallen greatly in the last eighteen months. We can now get mobile phones in less than thirty dollars. All of those things put in the hands of the poor, they can then benefit from these great things mobile phones can do.
The mobile phone is a force for good benefiting billions of people and changing the way we all behave. There is however a darker side to the mobile phone revolution. We don’t know yet all the risks in health, in ecology, in security but it is known that mobile phones have been used to trigger bombs in Madrid, in London, in Israel, in Iraq and India. The mobile phone has become crucial to state security. Everyone’s calls are now routinely scanned and monitored. While it can argued that the innocent have nothing to fear, this is not entirely true. Nowadays it is possible to track back a person if a call is being made. For example, let’s say that there is an executive chief officer of a big company and he has commercial rivals who have got a new product, new service, new piece of software that is going to seriously do damage to the company’s business. Then, arises the issue of whether it is possible for the company to listen to its commercial rivals’ mobile phone calls. There is no legal way the company can do that but it is possible to do it, illegally.
In India we now have more mobile phones than landlines. Even though landlines are cheaper and available, people still prefer mobile phones to landlines. Now in India, mobile phones are becoming accessible to the very poor. The sort of people who live in the eighty-six thousand villages all over the country that have no connectivity at all. Mobile phones can ease the lives of the poor. Let’s take the case of a farming woman from a town in India. The woman is carrying a heavy load of vegetables which she actually harvested in her backyard. She does not know when the bus will come and if the bus comes and she gets into the bus with her heavy load of vegetables, she is not quite sure that the market at the next stop is still open. When she goes in the market if it is open, she is not sure if that particular vegetable that day on that market is well priced enough to meet her ends. This is where communication plays a crucial role.
This woman could also go to the rural communication center also known as tele-centers. There she can find a man and a woman sitting there waiting to provide services. She goes into this place asks to know when the bus arrives and thanks to the telephone facility, this service provider person might call the nearest person to ask when the bus is coming and what is the rate of the particular vegetable in the market and is the market open or not?
We cannot go to every village raining tele-centers. Imposing a tele-center on a village does not always work. It only works if the demand comes from the villagers themselves and it meets their needs. A good way out would be not to have any tele-center but lots of cheap handsets distributed out to many more people.
A curse or a blessing?
A recent survey done by of one million users in 34 countries showed that 62% believed that their work productivity was “much better” due to new technology. 75% considers the opportunity provided by devices such as smartphones and laptops to remain in constant contact with work as a positive development.
Converting “down time” to work time, and being able to “stay in touch” with what’s happening at work at all times. This kind of commitment used to be associated with “Type A” executives, but nowadays anyone with a smartphone can do so too.
Many people like to find new ways to be effective, and like to feel as if they are getting better at managing time.
However, what is actually happening with many professionals is not amusing at all. Companies have taken the opportunity given to them by technology to convince employees to spend more “down time” doing work.
Nowadays, most people with a smartphone have gotten into the habit of continuously trying to convert “down time” into useful, work time.
Ways in which professionals may be converting their “down time” to get something done:
An employee sending a text message to his co-workers while travelling at 120 Km/h in a train and spilling hot coffee into his lap.
A teacher in a PTA meeting that’s going very slow, logs in her e-mail and replies, missing two tasks given to her among the various others.
An accountant at the swimming pool to watch his child swim the 25m freestyle event closes a deal during the men’s 25m freestyle via cellphone and lies to his son about seeing him break the record for that event.
A supervisor attending 3 days of fitness training is unable to do her training without touching her smartphone every 15 minutes and later after getting them written results of her training complains that the training program was not effective enough.
A teacher talking to the school manager to obtain a place in the school gets a message from her tuition student asking for help on a revision exercise, just before the exams start. She quietly sends her a reply while the manager is still talking. The manager notices the sudden lapse in attention and interprets it as a lack of interest in the proposals he is offering.
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A lawyer one more time takes his smartphone to the toilet where he can multi-task and by misfortune his boss’ husband who borrowed his smartphone, like five minutes before, happened to be there and notices him. More importantly the phone falls in the urinal and the owner quickly picks it up and tries his best to continue his conversation with his customer
These habits were developed by professionals who were trying to boost their productivity by converting “down time” into something of value. Human beings are known to easily develop habits that are hard to stop and these habits can also be annoying to others. There are where cases employees are provided with a smartphone for free by their company executives and managers. It is even seen as a form of reward and indicator of status in some companies.
It’s much better to make the small, enlightened changes now, than to wait until the cost is higher and the effort required seems to be impossible to garner.
All it takes to get started is one or two employees who are willing to redefine what productivity means for themselves and their companies, in favor of long-term results that are sustainable.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are just some of the diseases being attributed to prolonged cell phone use. But above these, the possibility of getting brain cancer is what most health-conscious individuals worry about their fascination with these gadgets. Mobile phone electromagnetic radiation is said to destroy the protein barrier of the brain and make it susceptible to viruses and toxins. Aside from that, it is also said to destroy red blood cells and cause hemoglobin leaking, which consequently harms the heart and kidney. These harms eventually manifest as an elevated blood pressure and a decrease in the body’s immunity.
In addition, cell phone radiation is also suspected of causing another form of physical threat, in the form of car accidents. According to a study conducted by the Harvard University, cell phones are predisposing factors to 200 vehicular deaths and millions of deaths per year. Furthermore, it is also insinuated that electromagnetic waves prove detrimental to the environment’s health and may cause freak fires in gas stations, as it can unwillingly ignite gas fumes.
But with all things considered, cell phones are not solely to be blamed for these ill consequences. As such, the human factor cannot be excluded in the equation. Our excesses and lack of control usually bring about negative effects to our cell phone use. So, it might be best that we learn, while still physically fit, about what we can do to prevent bad things from happening. By using the internet, we can gather enough intelligence to help us live a better, healthier mobile phone using life. For example using a wired ear piece to talk through to the phone would prevent exposure of radiations to the brain.
Today more than two hundred million Americans have a mobile phone. For many of us mobile phones are essential and the younger we are the truer that is.
On the streets of London, new school ringtones and latest mobile phones are objects of desire.
Mobile phones have become agents of change and modifiers of behavior. They alter our notion of time and space. They blur the boundaries between private and public. Mobile phones expand the sense of self, making us seem grander and more important.
People like carrying their mobile phones around. They do not carry it in their pocket or hand bags but they are holding it in their hands and waving it around. We can see this in restaurants for example when people go to restaurants, even if their mobile phone is in their pocket, they take it out and place it on the table so that everyone can see it. Another example would be when there is a group of girls standing around and then there is a men flashing his mobile phone and talking continuously on the phone. The young girls think that he must be a busy man. The young girls were looking at him and suddenly his phone rang. People want to show off their phone so much that they are even pretend to be talk. Even if we do not need our mobile phone, we bring it out with us just to show off.
These days the mobile phone each person uses is considered to be an indicator of his/her status in society. It seems that to be part of the society especially among youths today, one has to be charged up, switched on and always connected. Nonetheless we have to be aware that non-stop networking can become addictive and intrusive. Most teenagers nowadays always have a mobile phone in there hand. It is like they are someone important and anybody can phone the him/her any moment. Some are in the middle of a text message while talking to someone else; giving an impression they have a really interesting life and so many friends. It is not uncommon in these modern days to meet young people who are talking to each other and texting at the same time. People even sleep with their mobile phones switched on.
Jim McGregor would like future smartphones to “zap the person on the other end when they say something stupid.” The chief technology strategist for In-Stat Research is onto something. For now, the closest we probably have to that is the “mute” button. But a chief technologist strategist’s job incorporates vision, and that’s one vision that many might share.
“We are really just at the beginning of making these devices interface with the real world through advanced sensors and intelligent applications,” says McGregor. “Future devices will be able to sense temperature, speed, direction, location, action … and be able to communicate with you with information you may want, rather than just the information you request.” (By McGregor)
“Smartphones are starting to overtake the PC in terms of the primacy of getting information and entertainment from the Internet,” says Mike Woodward, vice president of the mobile phone portfolio for AT&T.
“There’s a whole generation of people, who, if they wanted to go find out something, they went and sat down at the computer and got it. There’s a generation coming up behind that, if they need to grab some quick information, a movie ticket, a dinner reservation – they immediately reach for their smartphone, whether they’re out on the go or not.”
Far into the future, everything would be miniaturized so the smartphone would have a CPU larger than modern day laptops and amazing integrated graphics. This smartphone would be faster than the fastest laptops we see today. The phone would have a few projectors on it as well as a stand in the back. We could put it on its stand and then hit a button to turn it into computer mode. It would project a screen in front of it as well as a keyboard down in front of you and it would basically turn into a laptop. Basically one day would arrive where we would be carrying around only one device. That is our smartphone that we could easily turn into a real full size computer. Our future smartphone should be able to wirelessly transmit to our TV screen in HD resolution, and be more powerful than our current desktop computer. It will have an infrared keyboard projector that is sensitive to finger motion. It will have such fast bandwidth that local storage will be a moot question…it will be connected to our Mega-Cloud storage drive, with Terabytes of storage immediately available to you anywhere. It will also carry our digital credit card and “e-money” that can only be accessed by a living fingerprint with a pulse rate that does not indicate extreme stress to discourage robberies.
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