This week’s TIME Magazine has a spread all about how mobile technologies are changing our world.
There are stories of how it’s changing elections, charity, privacy and more, as well as getting rid of our wallets of course.
The wallet piece is pretty weak to be honest, with the story of one of their journo’s spending a week cashless in America with just Google Wallet and Square. The conclusion is that Square is pretty cool, Wallet breaks down too often, whilst being cashless is fine in principle but in practice meant that he had to borrow money from his wife for beers at the ballgame.
Sounds good to me.
In other pieces, there is a discussion of next generation retail experiences where:
- The store pushes you offers based upon your age, sex and other demographics as you walk through the aisles (that’s already here);
- You can get news and reviews of goods in real-time before you buy instore by checking out websites like decide.com; and
- The sales assistant in the designer clothes store is a remote expert who advises you which tie goes best with the shirt you’re buying over a video call (I hate that idea!).
The bit I liked best is the numbers.
TIME did a poll of 4,700 people worldwide online, with a further 300 interviewed over the phone during July 2012.
The results are interesting.
- 76% of consumers see being constantly connected by mobile as helpful (13% see it as a burden)
- 68% sleep with their phone next to the bed, whilst a further 16% have their mobile somewhere in the bedroom
- 58% find that being constantly connected by mobile makes it easier to be away from the family
- 53% are in closer contact with their friends
- 49% reckon they are better informed about news
- 44% check their wireless device as the first and last thing they do every day
- 44% believe that it allows them to make decisions more quickly
- 41% manage more work thanks to being wireless
- 32% prefer to communicate via text messages
- 29% lock their mobile and use a pass code to unlock it (so 71% of mobiles are unsecured!)
Finally, they looked at the use of and attitudes towards mobile technologies across 8 countries, and find that:
- The Chinese find that mobile devices create rows with their partners (60%), closely followed by the Indians (58%); Chinese folks also browse and search the internet, read news and check the weather more than any other nation; and
- India is the country that most enjoys working with mobile, with a massive 63% able to manage more work, with India also the nation that make and receive more calls and text messages, send and receive more emails, visit more social networks than any other nation (as well as receiving more payments too!).
Surprisingly, the impact of mobile technologies has least changed the lives of people in America and the UK, when compared with India, China and Brazil.
Maybe that’s not so surprising as mobile technologies have developed to engage all of society – the rich and poor – more than any previous technology.
In other words, the fact that a billion Chinese (75% of the country) and a billion Indians (76%) now use a technology when previous technologies – laptops, PCs and such like – were prohibitively expensive, means that all of us are now seeing the benefits of wireless access to electronic processing.