FreeWord – Smartphones Shaping Our Future
My first mobile phone was a Nokia 3110. I got it in 1998 when I was 12 years old and some of its biggest features were changing the ringtone and that marvelous snake game! Impressive, eh?
We have come a long way since then. Our planet is changing, humanity is evolving and technology is ruling our world. We are living in an age of constant change. Smartphones have infiltrated our lives so quickly and so thoroughly, that we never had a chance to think about their actual impact on our lives. It’s been just over a decade since its inception, and it has already become one of the most dominating factors in shaping humankind’s behavior.
Check out the facts and statistics from the link below.
Smartphones have evolved immensely from the earliest communication devices. After all, they were originally created to primarily improve people’s way of communicating with each other. Today, it has become a lot more than that. A smartphone is our personal assistant and without owning one, simple daily tasks might get challenging.
In case of an emergency, you can call for rescue or help, and alert your friends and relatives in an instant. You can also basically reach the entire planet by using a few of the most popular social media platforms at the touch of a few buttons.
Instant communication: SMS, text messaging, call, video chat and apps that allow people to instantly communicate with anyone across the globe.
Internet: Research, study or kill time. Any kind of information and unlimited access to countless websites and services. Anybody, anytime and anywhere.
Apps: Entertainment, education, dating, and selfies. Basically, these apps are for just about everything. Photo and video editors, music and video streaming, ticket booking, online shopping and payments, personal assistants, nutrition and fitness, mobile banking etc. The list goes on and on.
GPS: Most smartphones are now equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS). This technology allows people to navigate addresses and areas all around the world. This helps in communication, transportation, traveling, couriers, taxis…
Camera: One of the big selling points for manufacturers today. The smartphone giants make sure their phones are equipped with high-quality cameras. So for a regular photographer, there’s no need for a separate digital camera to get quality pictures anymore.
Smartphones are widely used in businesses and it’s common that they follow up with extra workloads besides work hours, which did not even exist before. People interact with each other less as they tend to spend more time with their phones. Often more than 5 hours a day. We have begun to suspect that smartphones’ impact on our lives might not be entirely good.
With easy access to information and the internet, children are especially vulnerable to seeing content that is not suitable for their age.
Pricy: Smartphones can be expensive, especially the latest high-end phones. Some of the applications are required to be purchased in order to fully use them.
Distraction: Despite productivity, smartphones can be really distracting. Applications constantly notify you of messages, latest offerings, updates, etc. This makes you attached to your phone even more.
Health Issues: Smartphones have been found to have a negative impact on our health, as they emit radiofrequency energy which can be absorbed by the tissues in the body. This commonly causes sleep deprivation and screen light can damage your eyes’ retina.
Addiction: For countless people it’s has become a habit to play with their phones right until falling asleep and continuing immediately after waking up. Not to mention being unable to put in on silent or flight mode during the night. This is already an early sign of smartphone addiction and it may lead to more serious addictions later.
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Privacy: Even though smartphones are made “private”, they are still vulnerable to threats when you access the internet. Hackers are always present and virtual viruses are potent. It’s not uncommon for apps to monitor you either.
Blockchain smartphones are probably going to be the next step in the mobile industry. In fact, it’s already a growing trend. The most significant advantage of these phones is their ability to offer users a cold wallet for safe cryptocurrency storage. Most phone giants are now working towards releasing their blockchain-based smartphones. This will be a big boost for both blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in general, and a significant step towards mainstream adoption.
Last October a prototype of the first Xphone was unveiled to the world, and was used to make the first phone call on the blockchain. Pundi X (NPXS) offers users the option of switching between the phone’s native blockchain and the Android 9.0 operating system with the . This function is made using the ‘X’ button on the device. Every XPhone functions also as a node and contributes to the operation and validation of the blockchain peer-to-peer network.
The Finney Phone
Swiss-based company Sirin Labs ‘Finney’ was one of the first blockchain-based smartphones when it was released in November last year, and was priced at around $1000 USD. The phone was named after Hal Finney, who was the first-ever recipient of bitcoin. The Finney works as an entry-level device for users who are new to the landscape of cryptocurrencies. While it was designed to make cryptocurrency investments, storage, and everyday use easier, Finney also brought an incredible level of security. Unfortunately, the phone itself was not so appreciated by the market.
The HTC Exodus
HTC has also entered the world of blockchain-based smartphones. It has named its new model Exodus, which was released earlier this year. The phone comes with the Zion wallet, which supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and about 60 other coins. However, if you’re already familiar with cryptocurrencies, you probably already have a wallet that you prefer. Zion doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles, but will most likely be sufficient for the average user.
Samsung Galaxy S10
Two months ago, Samsung also made a leap into the blockchain arena with the unveiling of its flagship cellphone, the Galaxy S10. It has the ability to store cryptocurrency private keys and other features such as supporting blockchain-based digital signatures (source). Today, the Galaxy S10 is commonly quoted as the world’s best smartphone.
Future of the smartphones is strongly connected to the upcoming 5G, or fifth generation mobile networks. 5G is already the hottest mobile technology topic and it hasn’t even been standardized yet. Smartphone users will literally be able to complete a multitude of tasks with just the touch of a button using this technology. 5G allows instant messaging and video capabilities, and lightning-fast video downloads for consumers. In addition to smartphones, the biggest beneficiaries of superfast data speeds will be robots, self-driving cars, and drones.
Some international companies, such as Lenovo, have already released 5G-capable devices. AT&T is already selling a 5G hotspot router and Verizon has launched 5G broadband in select areas. Other companies, including Samsung and LG, have already announced plans for 5G-enabled devices. One exception: Apple is reportedly not getting into the 5G hype anytime soon.
Today, we all are connected but still alone, busy but ineffective. Smartphone technology brings its benefits but it is also draining our time. We have to learn the right balance, in order to benefit while not being glued to the screens. The day 5G technology finally arrives – whether it is in the form of mobile devices, infrastructure, or residential services – it is expected to be a development that is completely altering the way we connect with the world, again!
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