Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

Microsoft video offers stunning vision for future of mobile

October 28th, 2011

With smartphones becoming as commonplace as wrist watches, it’s only a matter of time before they also start to take control of other gadgets in our lives. In this video, Microsoft offers a stunning view of what is possible.

Today when we talk about smartphones and the various things we wish they could do for us, the common response is “There’s an app for that!”

The mobile phone has long been viewed as one of the single most powerful gadgets we own not just because it functions as a computer and phone, but because of the potential to use it as a way to control other pieces of technology in our lives.

A new video created by Microsoft (below) gives an updated view at what could be possible, and it’s nothing short of remarkable. Interactive touch screens are gearing up to play a vital role in our lives and Microsoft’s vision of the future puts that concept front and center.

The 6-minute video titled “Productivity Future Vision (2011)” shows how technology, namely mobile devices, can be used to control other things in our lives in real-time. They let us communicate, do business, talk with family and play games, but they are also one day poised to be the central devices in our lives and critical to how we interact with other pieces of technology.

The video also shows how other mobile devices such as touchscreens and tablets will play a role an interact with mobile devices.

We’re a long way off from the vision Microsoft has presented in this video, but based on how far we’ve come with smartphones and mobile devices, it doesn’t seem as sci-fi as it once did. We’re already starting to see the virtual assistant-type technology evolve with Apple’s Siri, and the majority of kids under the age of 8 are using mobile devices regularly. Smartphones and mobile technology are everywhere. The future is not that far off anymore.

Check out the video below:

52% of kids under 8 using iPods, iPads and mobile devices

October 27th, 2011

Need a babysitter? There’s an app for that. A study published this week says a huge percentage of children under the age of eight are consuming media on iPods, iPads and other devices at growing rates.

A study published by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that studies children’s use of technology, says digital media has become a regular part of a child’s life and mobile devices are the toy of choice.

More than half (52%) of all children under the age of eight have access to mobile devices at home including smartphones, iPads, iPods and other tablets. And the rate at which kids are adopting technology is also perhaps surprising: 40 percent of 2- to 4-year-olds are using everything from TV to mobile devices and apps.

According to the study, 11 percent of all kids up to 8-years-old regularly use a cellphone, iPod, iPad or similar device and spend an average of 43 minutes doing so. Parents seem to be supporting the digital babysitters, as more than a quarter (29%) of all parents have downloaded mobile apps for their kids to use.

“Much of the focus in recent years has been on the explosion of media use among teenagers, whereas our study examines media use among young children during crucial developmental years,” said James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media, in a media release. “Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed their position that children under age 2 should not engage in any screen time, yet the data shows infants and toddlers are growing up surrounded by screens. This use data is an important first step toward understanding how the prevalence of media and technology affects the development of our youngest kids.”

Among the key findings of the study:

  • 42 percent of children under eight years of age have a TV in their bedrooms (30 percent of 0- to 1-year-olds, 44 percent of 2- to 4-year-olds, and 47 percent of 5- to 8-year-olds).
  • Half (52%) of all 0- to 8-year-olds have access to a new mobile device such as a smartphone, video iPod, or iPad/tablet.
  • More than a third (38%) of children this age have used one of these devices, including 10% of 0- to 1-year-olds, 39% of 2- to 4-year-olds, and more than half (52%) of 5- to 8-year-olds.
  • In a typical day, one in 10 (11%) 0- to 8-year-olds uses a smartphone, video iPod, iPad, or similar device to play games, watch videos, or use other apps. Those who do such activities spend an average of 43 minutes a day doing so.

While new technologies are starting to get the attention of both parents and tots, the study says TV continues to be the dominant medium and kids 8-years-old and under consume an average of 1:40 of TV or DVDs in a typical day.

Children also spend 29 minutes daily reading or being read to; 29 minutes each day listening to music; 17 minutes per day using a computer; 14 minutes daily using a video came console; and five minutes using a cellphone, iPod, iPad or similar device.

According to the study, infants between 0-1 years of age spend double the amount of time watching TV and DVDs than reading. Some children are also multitasking, as nearly one quarter (23%) of 5- to 8-year-olds use more than one device at a time.

“These results make it clear that media plays a large and growing role in children’s lives, even the youngest of children,” said Vicky Rideout, a senior adviser to Common Sense Media and director of more than 30 previous studies on children, media and health. “As we grapple with issues such as the achievement gap and childhood obesity, educators, policymakers, parents, and public health leaders need access to comprehensive and credible research data to inform their efforts.”

The study, “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America,” is based on a survey of 1,384 parents of children up to 8 years old, and was conducted May 27-June 15, 2011. The full study can be downloaded free here (opens in PDF).

[Originally published on Digital Journal]

Google buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion

August 15th, 2011

Google has announced plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. The deal gives Google a stronger foothold in the mobile industry, putting it directly in the handset business, and positions Google to better compete with companies like Apple.

Google CEO Larry Page, made the announcement on the company’s blog, saying the deal will “supercharge Android.”

“Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users,” Page wrote. “Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.”

Google’s cash offer is $40 per share which is a 63 percent premium on Motorola‘s closing price Friday, and the deal is expected to close by the end of 2011 or in early 2012.

Google says it has activated more than 150 million Android devices, adding 550,000 new devices each day. The company boasts a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries.

“Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today,” Page said. “In 2008, Motorola bet big on Android as the sole operating system across all of its smartphone devices. It was a smart bet and we’re thrilled at the success they’ve achieved so far. We believe that their mobile business is on an upward trajectory and poised for explosive growth.”

Page says the acquisition will not change Google’s promise to keep Android as an open platform, saying Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open.

“This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world,” Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha said in a press release. “We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

While Motorola will run as a separate business, this deal marks the first time Google has had a hand directly in the mobile handset business.

“Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies,” Page said. “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere.”

When the acquisition announcement was first made, questions arose around how HTC, LG, Samsung, Acer, Sony Ericsson and Lenovo would respond to the announcement.

Google says says the reaction has been positive, quoting positive responses from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and LG execs.

In the acquisition announcement, Page also took a shot at Microsoft and Apple, saying the companies are “banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android.”

“The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to ‘protect competition and innovation in the open source software community’ and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction,” Page said. “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”

According to Motorola, the company has 14,600 patents, with 6,700 patent applications pending worldwide.

Google says the Motorola acquisition will enhance competition, offer greater innovation and choice and a better user experience.

Study: 86% of people use mobile devices while watching TV

January 26th, 2011

Photo by Eelke Dekker

By Chris Hogg

According to a study published by Yahoo’s advertising division, TV fans are very active on the mobile front. The report indicates nearly 90 percent of boob tube watchers are using a mobile device at the same time.

It began as a passive past-time meant to escape from the everyday, but television today is turning into an engaging experience thanks to that smartphone in your pocket. Be it Twitter, Facebook, email or instant messaging, TV watchers are doing more than watching what’s on screen.

According to stats released by Yahoo/Nielsen, 86 percent of mobile Web users (and 92 percent of people aged 13 to 24) are using a mobile device while watching TV and one quarter of them are looking at related content to what they’re watching on screen. For this study, Yahoo interviewed 8,384 Americans aged 13 to 64. Of those, 5,313 were mobile Internet users.

The study (PDF) says TV watchers use their mobile to simultaneously text family and friends (56 percent); visit social networking sites (40 percent); browse content unrelated to the program on screen (37 percent); email friends and family (33 percent); use mobile apps (33 percent); browse for content related to the show on screen (24 percent); search for info based on a commercial that aired (23 percent); and instant message with friends or family (12 percent).

Courtesy Yahoo

“This data mirrors Yahoo research on PC users, as we see that mobile users often scan content unrelated to TV programming, participate on social networks and send email,” the study reports. “Mobile allows ample opportunity for brands to continue the conversation after the TV ad is flighted.”

In addition to post-program interaction, the real-time Web and mobile apps are changing how people consume content on television. Evidence can be found with shows like Glee or Obama’s State of the Union address where people took to social networks like Twitter to discuss what they were seeing in real-time.

Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, recently spoke about Glee’s use of social media with Kara Swisher, showing how mobile devices have changed the TV-watching experience.

“The characters on Glee actually tweet and they tweet during the show,” Costolo said. “When Glee starts, the moment it airs for the first time on the East Coast, the tweets per second for Glee shoot up. They stay up there at a super high level at hundreds of [times] what they are before the show comes on until the moment the show ends and then they drop. [...] People feel like they have to watch the show while it’s going on because the community is tweeting about the show and the characters are tweeting as the show’s happening so [they have to] watch it in real time.”

ReadWriteWeb notes the Glee phenomonenon has caused viewers to tune into the show in real-time rather than time-shifting or recording it on DVR.

For marketers who want to connect with today’s modern TV-watcher, Yahoo says mobile usage presents “a compelling opportunity for content providers and advertisers alike to complement the viewing experience on the mobile platform.”

[Cross-posted to Future of Media & Digital Journal]

Study: Smartphones and tablets to outsell computers in 2011

January 19th, 2011

Duncan Stewart, Director of Deloitte Canada Research and co-author of TMT Predictions 2011, presents the company's forecasts for changes in technology to an audience in Montreal. - Photo courtesy Deloitte Canada

For the first time in history, cellphone and tablet sales are expected to outnumber computer sales, a study by Deloitte Canada predicts. The report says 425 million smartphones and tablets are expected to ship globally compared to 400 million PCs.

“In 2011, more than half of computing devices sold globally will not be PCs,” the report (PDF) indicates. “While PC sales are likely to reach almost 400 million units, Deloitte’s estimate for combined sales of smartphones, tablets and non-PC netbooks is well over that amount.”

Deloitte is a professional services firm that provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to businesses. This study was released as part of the company’s 2011 global Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions report.

“Unlike the 2009 netbook phenomenon, when buyers chose machines that were less powerful versions of traditional PCs (but still PCs), the 2011 computing market will be dominated by devices that use different processing chips and operating systems than those used for PCs over the past 30 years,” the report says. “This shift has prompted some analysts to proclaim the era of the PC is over.”

Deloitte disagrees with the belief that traditional PCs are dead, saying they are going to continue to be the workhorse computing platform for most people around the world. That said, Deloitte believes 2011 will be a tipping point as consumers move away from standard PCs to a new era of smartphones and tablets.

“[Consumers] will continue to move away from a predictable, but narrow, world of standardized computing devices like the PC, and vote with their wallets in favour of a diversity of choices including tablets and smartphones,” a Deloitte Canada news release says.

Deloitte’s study mirrors a lot of the predictions made by Polar Mobile, an app developer for more than 150 customers including Time, BusinessWeek and Digital Journal. In December 2010, Polar Mobile made 11 predictions for the future of mobile where the company forecast explosive growth for mobiles and tablets.

Mobile will become part of every business’ marketing and distribution strategy in 2011,” Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, told DigitalJournal.com in an email statement in December. “That’s where we all spend our time and brands, marketers and publishers will want to capture that opportunity.”

Anyone who ever wanted evidence of mobile growth need look no further than Apple, a leader in the mobile and tablet worlds. The company announced its Q1 earnings yesterday, boasting record revenue of $26.74 billion and record net quarterly profit of $6 billion. Apple says it sold 16.24 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 86 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. iPads also saw booming sales, with Apple saying the company sold 7.33 million iPads during the quarter and nearly 15 million in 2010. More than 17 million are expected to ship in 2011.

Furthermore, tech companies showed off more than 80 tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

With the growth of the smartphone and tablet market, Deloitte says price, performance, form factor and other variables will be diverse and thus make buying decisions more complicated for consumers.

“Choosing a device will take longer, and will need to be done more carefully,” the study notes.

In a news release, Duncan Stewart Director of Deloitte Canada Research and co-author of TMT Predictions 2011, said, “Like kids in a candy store, consumers and enterprises will be excited, yet overwhelmed by the sheer variety of options available to them. With PCs, netbooks, tablets and smartphones, buyers must choose among a wide array of functionalities, platforms, operating systems, sizes, features and price points.”

Deloitte’s top 10 predictions for 2011 include:

  1. Smartphones and tablets: More than half of all computers aren’t computers anymore
  2. Tablets in the enterprise: More than just a toy
  3. Operating system diversity: No standard emerges on the smartphone or tablet
  4. Social network advertising: How big can it get?
  5. Television’s “super media” status strengthens
  6. PVRs proliferate! The 30-second spot doesn’t die!
  7. Push beats pull in the battle for the television viewer
  8. What’s “in-store” for Wi-Fi: Retailers roll-out Wi-Fi
  9. Getting to 4G cheaply: Will many carriers opt for 3.5G instead? The proliferation of new computing devices doesn’t mean that we need new networks
  10. Wi-Fi complements cellular broadband for “data on the move”

More details on each of these can be found in Deloitte’s report (PDF) or via a livestream online.

[Cross-posted to Future of Media]