Tag Archives: mobile technology

Big Brother mobile device in our pockets

File:Nokia Lumia 800.jpgFolks don’t like the idea of having their movements stalked by cameras or tracking devices – and yet we willingly carry round a device that has been tracking everything we do.

And we use that device in preference to other devices such as watches, PC’s and cameras – devices without tracking information embedded into the device.

So why are we so happy to carry around devices that are constantly monitoring us?

Information about our whereabouts can come in useful when we are trying to find our lost phones.  The Find my phone feature on the Nokia Lumia is particularly handy.

Location information can also be very useful to the police or the emergency services who can use the device data for pinpointing the location of someone who may have been injured and called for help.  Location information from mobile phones certainly helped to find the murderer of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman as the device recorded the last cell connecting to the phone.

Information about the cell log on, cell access, and the last location of the cell before the phone is switched off gives vital clues in the hunt for evidence in cases such as these.

Frictionless sharing helps us automatically let our friends and colleagues know what we have been doing.  Now frictionless data from our phones, can help advertisers give us targeted adverts and services that we should want.

Apple users were annoyed to discover that the iPhone tracked their location and that a security flaw could mean that data might get into the wrong hands. The data could be accessed without needing a court order.

And we use our phones data plan a lot:

Activity

Minutes per day

Browsing the internet

24.81

Checking social networks

17.49

Playing games

14.44

Listening to music

15.64

Making calls

12.13

Checking/writing emails

11.1

Text messaging

10.2

Watching TV/films

9.39

Reading books

9.3

Taking photographs

3.42

Total

128

 

According to this survey from 02, we spend over 53 minutes per day either browsing, using social networks or reading and writing emails.  And we use our phones more often than other devices.  The O2 survey also shows us which devices we are turning away from:

  • Over half (54%) say they use their phones in place of an alarm clock
  • Almost half (46%) have dispensed with a watch in favour of using their smartphone
  • Two-in-five (39%) have switched to use their phone instead of a separate camera
  • Over one quarter use their phone instead of a laptop (28%)
  • One in ten have got shot of a games console in favour of their handset (11%)
  • One in twenty smartphone users have switched to use their phone in place of a TV (6%) or reading physical books (6%)

So there are good and bad reasons for having a tracking device monitoring your whereabouts and location.  We blithely accept location access from our devices – yet we complain about invasion of our privacy and intrusion. We want to keep our kids safe – and yet we want to have the privacy we need.

Is there a balance?  Can we rely on the police and emergency services to respect that our data is never shared with any third parties – unless we need  to rely on their services?

Or do we accept that in our always on, 24 x 7 state, someone is watching our every move – just in case…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Credit: Kiwi Flickr

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Do our devices stop us from ‘really’ communicating with each other?

It’s odd how we keep some of our SMS messages and discard others.  A text from a loved one, stays in our phone for ages and ages.

And yet we communicate with our friends and family using status messages, tweets and updates. We do this more than we talk to them face to face. 

Social media has the ability to keep us connected to people who we would never normally interact with.  Those casual acquaintances, friends and colleagues who we would forget about if we had to communicate with them face to face.

And yet, with tools like Facebook, we are aware of what our casual friends do on a day by day basis. We become a silent watcher of their lives, a lurker, a stalker.  We don’t usually interact with them, and yet we know so much about them. With the onslaught of mobile, and our utter reliance on the divide in our pocket (remember – we’re addicted to smartphones according to Ofcom).

Things that we might have found disturbing a few years ago, we do freely.  We advertise our presence to the world when we check in to a location.  Are we expecting that other, similarly connected people will join us at our location?

We use social tools when we’re in meetings, tweeting about how bored we are with the meeting.  Sometimes, we’re encouraged to do this, so that the live Twitter feed can be displayed for others to read. 

We check our emails as soon as we wake, through our meals.  We take photographs of our food as a permanent record of what we have consumed. Our phones, designed to facilitate communication with others become the barrier to our human communication and interaction.

We are so busy being productive that we ignore our families.  They are plugged in, online, listening to music and updating their friends on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and BlackBerry Messaging.

Sherry Turkle talks about being the new way of being ‘Alone Together’ at TED this year.  She talks about us hiding from each other, whilst being connected to each other.  Laptops in meetings provide a barrier to the rest of the group.  They might not want to interrupt that busy person from their emails.  The laptop is a safe place to hide behind.

But are we killing the art of human interaction and face to face conversation?

The video talks about our presenting ourselves as we want to be.  We are not the same person online and offline.  We get to ‘retouch’ the parts of us, until they are just right.

We use the conversations with each other to learn how to have conversations with ourselves.

And technology is enabling this chasm between human interaction and interacting with devices.  We are developing sociable robots that offer companionship. such as the Unified communications robots help patients get better, the Mask bot- The robot with the human face and Argumentative Chatbots.

Sherry nails in one sentence how this is changing the way we interact with each other:

We expect more from technology and less from each other

Does technology appeal more when we are vulnerable?  Do we pour out our heart and soul through blogs, status updates, emails and texts.  Is it just because we are lonely that we reach for that connected device?

Can we bear to be alone?  Does social technology truly define who we are?

   Without connections will we be more alone?  Is solitude the thing that we should be aiming for – to get us used to being us. 

Then and only then, can we be truly authentic online.

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Our smartphone addiction–according to Ofcom

Do you get separation anxiety when you can’ not find your phone?  If so, you are not along.  According to the annual report from Ofcom smartphones are taking over our lives.  Over 27 per cent of adults in the UK now own a smartphone.  The annual report from Offcom highlights some interesting facts about our smartphone use in the UK amongst other things.

We are using our mobile devices more and more. We even use them instead of our landlines and our broadband connections. Mobile voice calls are up 350% and SMS messages are up 2000%.  This has been accompanied by a corresponding decline in fixed line voice calls.  We use mainly contract based plans, with pay as you go usage decreasing to 16%. Getting a contract with a smartphone included in the deal may have facilitated this growth..

Here are some callouts from the report:

Smartphone usage:

We still make more calls from landlines than we do from mobile phones but 81% of us make and receive calls on our mobile every day

59% of our smartphones are less than a year old

37% of adults claim to be addicted to their smartphone

60% of teenagers claim to be addicted to their smartphone – especially teenage girls.  They also send more texts than make calls

Where do we use our phones:

51% say they use it whilst socialising and are not too bothered when asked to turn the device off.  0ver 10% ignore the turn off  demands and continue to use the device anyway

23% use it during a meal with others.  Teenagers use their phones at meal times more than adults

81% of us never turn their phones off

22% use their smartphone in the bathroom and 47% of teenagers claim to use smartphones in the bathroom

Work lives:

30% use their phones at work for personal calls

25% use their phone for work calls when not on duty

24% use their phone for work when on holiday

Internet use:

25% of all UK advertising spend is on the internet, ahead of TV advertising. 

Mobile advertising grew by 121% to reach £83 million

28% of UK adults access internet services on their mobile devices – up from 22%

57% of mobile users access social networking sites. Facebook comes out top at with 97% of users accessing it.  Twitter comes second at 26%, MySpace (13%) and Bebo (10%)

53% send and receive emails

42% use mobile search

Teens use their smartphone for social networking (62%, listening to music (62%) and playing games(50%)

And in the UK, the iPhone is still the dominant device – followed by the BlackBerry..

Smartphone brand choice amongst users: Ofcom report

image

Some great statistics for marketers to chew over – warning the document runs to 341 pages. There are sections on TV, Radio and internet usage in addition for financial figures and growth.  Well worth a scan through…

 

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Passpath: geeky way to protect your photos

I like this.  You can protect your photos – even if you don’t protect your phone with a PIN by using Passpath.   Passpath works by remembering the tracking of your fingers.  have a look at this..

 

10 incorrect attempts to access the photos results in the photos being wiped from the device.   Great idea – and similar to the rebuild function on the Windows phone I have where 5 incorrect passwords resets the device.. 

Clever stuff.. available from the App store

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Life before smartphones: How did we manage?

Some great memories here in this infographic from the Windows team blog about what it was like before smartphones came along:

WYWY

when did you get your first smartphone?  I downloaded my very first app onto my phone ages ago.  It was a map of the tube which sat on my Windows based smartphone in 2002.  i remember we all thought how amazing this stuff was back on 2002…

And look how far things have progressed since then Smile

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Social Commerce: Spending power in the palm of your hand

Now this is an interesting infographic from socialcast on the power of the mobile device.  There’s a massive demand for mobile applications at the moment – and this infographic goes some way to explaining why

#E2sday: Mobile Commerce

 

For Social Commerce vendors its vital that you give the customer:

    • The experience that they want
    • The form factor they want
    • on the device that they want

Mobile devices are used for a holt of different things, and mobile payments and transactions are becoming the norm.  You can check in and use your phone as a boarding pass with several airlines, you can access information, buy goods, connect with your friends and of course play games.

In order to stay one step ahead of your competitors, you need to think about giving the consumer the mechanism to stay engaged with your commerce site, whether it’s through coupons, discount, competitive offers, or online purchasing.

If you’re not quite there yet, or not quite ready remember that your competitors just might be…

 

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

Smartphones and the Google Motorola Mobile acquisition

This is an interesting infographic from the New York Times showing the smartphone landscape.  its especially interesting in light of yesterdays announcement that Google were going to buy Motorola mobility.

 

Its an interesting landscape certainly and one that will make Google a significant player in the mobile space. They have spent $12.5 billion on the deal.   They have also purchased patents that will help them with the lawsuit deal against Microsoft.  It will be interesting to see how the Google-Motorola deal affects Microsoft.  Windows phones don’t seem to be selling.  Business Insider reckons that windows phone is a dud with under 5% of market share.  But Microsoft have made over $150 million from HTC Android phones

But there’s still a long way to go to  get ahead of Symbian.  with over 40% of market share, its far ahead of the pack.  Perhaps lots of people will never move to smartphones but want to use their phone as just a plain simple old phone.

What an odd concept Smile

 

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.