How Smartphones Give Us Superpowers

Gone are the days when letters and phone calls are used as the main channel of communication. Nowadays, texts are the staple of modern conversation and mobile Internet searches are the main source of knowledge. It would seem that smartphones have turned us into superhumans.

According to a global survey by Qualcomm and Time, about 68% of the population keep their phones at their bedside when they sleep. We can see that people already depend so much on their phones that about 75% of Americans feel the need to be “constantly connected” through mobile internet. This could lead to some sense of isolation and loneliness; sort of like a phantom limb syndrome. Some people feel empty without a smartphone in hand.

Irregardless of these negative effects, the use of mobile technology seem to go constantly up. In the United States, majority of phone owners use smartphones. These phones are so powerful that they have become indispensible for its owners. They have become ubiquitous in all businesses and even in our personal lives.

There are so many ways that these mobile gadgets could potentially grant us superpowers. One of these was outlined by Google recently. It is similar to a digital X-ray which gives its user a “Terminator” vision. For example, a person wearing Google’s state-of-the-art glasses may be able to see the deals being offered by a restaurant as he passes by. Some may have prompts to opening or closing doors, or would allow one to pay for a meal with one tap on the phone.

In rural parts of Africa, some schools never had textbooks but with the help of Paul Kim, chief technology officer at Stanford University, these schools are now using smartphones as source of information. In addition to that, researchers like George Whitesides at Harvard University are attempting to use phones as a medium of medical care to remote places in the world where medical personnel are hard to reach. Thus, doctors are now granted the superhuman ability to see patients from far, far away.

Of course, as Paul Kim said, all these new innovations for smartphones won’t always work right away. But sooner or later, smartphones will become an integral part of all aspects of our lives, especially when they become more affordable.

How about you — how indispensible is your smartphone for you? Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic!

Image: Evo Canada News

Apple Dethrones Exxon as Most Valuable Company

Apple nudged out oil giant Exxon Mobil on Wednesday to become the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world.

The technology company’s stock rose 6.3% to end at $446.66 a share, one day after Apple reported the best quarterly results in history for a tech company. That spike pushed the company’s market value to $419 billion. At that level, Apple has surpassed the perennial champ, Exxon, which has a market value of $418 billion. Exxon’s stock edged up 0.5% to $87.22 a share on Wednesday.

It remains to be seen how long Apple can maintain the title. Apple briefly surpassed Exxon for the first time last August, but the oil giant regained the top spot by the end of that day. Apple’s stellar quarter included a 73% jump in sales to $46.3 billion, a tech industry record reports. The company said its fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier, rising to $13 billion, or $13.87 per share.

Apple’s results helped boost shares of companies that make components for its products. Chipmakers including Broadcom, Qualcomm, TriQuint, ARM Holdings, Cirrus Logic and Skyworks Solutions all surged. Nuance Communications, one of the companies responsible for Apple’s voice recognition software Siri, gained 3%. Even Zagg, a maker of mobile device accessories, rose 4%.

Apple’s growth is a stunning achievement for a 35-year old company that had a market cap of just $10 billion a decade ago. The company’s turnaround began with the launch of the iPod, and growth really skyrocketed after the iPhone’s release in 2007.


Source: CNN

Image: The Guardian