WEB & TECH / DEC. 29, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Bow Down to the Wonder of Your Smartphone


The modern mobile phone is one of the most remarkable inventions of recent times.  Indeed, so powerful it is that there is a tendency to overlook just how cool it is.  I mean think about it.  In a typical week it’s likely that you’ll be using your phone for a combination of game playing, email sending, text messaging, Internet browsing, television watching, photo taking, social networking and if you’re really adventurous, maybe even some phone calling.

It’s a remarkable number of functions, and something that I sometimes sense that we take for granted a little bit.  I mean we have, for the first time in history, access to pretty much all of the knowledge there is in the world, right there at our fingertips, whenever we want it.  That’s incredible.

With the rise of virtual assistants such as Siri, we don’t even have to use our hands a lot of the time to access the selection of millions of apps that we happen to have downloaded to our device.  Whilst the initial incarnations of voice activated phones have been a little scratchy, there is every suggestion that these will improve rapidly over the coming years.

We even had the launch recently of automatic translation services via Skype, thus giving us another incredible tool in our pockets.  You would imagine with this rapidly increasing functionality that phones would be getting both inordinately larger and inordinately more expensive, yet the reality is quite different.

The gift that keeps on giving

Each new generation of phone seems to be getting both thinner and lighter as manufacturers are able to pack more and more into less space.  Indeed, I mentioned earlier that we’ve almost come to take such wonder for granted, but it’s almost certainly true that we’ve come to take such frequent improvements for granted.  If our current device isn’t obsolete within a few years, we wonder what on earth is happening.

Despite these improvements, the price of each device seems to go down more than it goes up.  We have to consider that the computing grunt in the modern smart phone would dwarf that of the Apollo space craft.  Heck, the latest smart phones dwarf the biggest supercomputers in the world only 20 years ago, and they manage to do so for a tiny fraction of the price of those behemoths.

I kinda have the opinion that we’re seeing this huge, transformational, history making shift right under our noses, and are largely shrugging our shoulders at it.  For sure, we’re increasingly addicted to our phones, but I’m not sure that’s quite the same as appreciating just how powerful they are, especially in a professional context.

Indeed, often we abuse this incredible device by using it to play Angry Birds and look at cat pictures on Instagram.  I hope that you enjoy the infographic by Visua.ly, and perhaps begin to appreciate the modern marvel you’ve got sitting in your pocket.

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Visua.ly
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