Feature Article

April 26, 2014

Mobility Techzone Week in Review

Nowadays when we think of mobile technology, one of the first things that comes to mind is a smartphone. Smartphones enter the everyday lives of more and more people with each passing day, and the fact that these devices provide powerful computing and Internet access in to the pockets of consumers truly makes it feel like the future is now. Not only are these devices becoming more popular, but new developments in the technology are making them smarter, faster and more powerful overall. While other mobile technology like wearable tech is on the rise, this past week showed significant research and developments within the world of smartphones.

On the research side of the equation, a study from the United Nations’ UNESCO group has concluded that the use of cell phones and smartphones is providing a significant boost to literacy rates around the world, and that developing countries are entering a “reading revolution” thanks to the availability of these devices. Though critics have feared for years that mobile devices would lay a killing blow to printed text, research from countries including Pakistan, Ethiopia and Ghana has shown that literacy rates are skyrocketing in these countries, especially among women and children.

Another recent study aimed at discovering who uses smartphones and what kinds of people they are has determined that more adults in the over 40 market are interested in smartphones than they ever were previously. While smartphones have generally been a product favored by teenagers and young professionals in the past, the Pew Research center found that 51 percent of adults over 55 own what they consider to be a smartphone. As a whole, the study also found that 56 percent of American adults are now smartphone users, and that overall smartphone market penetration (the proportion of Americans with at least one smartphone) is now up to 70 percent.

With all of this talk about the growth of Smartphones, word has also gotten out that Google has chosen Lattice Semiconductor to begin production on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chips for a new line of modular smartphones. Google hopes to disrupt the smartphone market with what they call Project Ara, which subverts the tendancy of smartphones to be static and immutable pieces of technology by instead allowing users to only purchase parts for the smartphone they’ll actually need and use. For example, a photographer could purchase a modular high-end camera lens for their smartphone, and simply snap the device into place. This would allow for a broad diversity of smartphone capabilities at a wide array of prices, which would make smartphones even more available (and useful) to a global population

Keep up with what’s happening in the world of mobile tech at The Mobility Techzone!

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