Will We Ever Get a Truly Lifeproof Cell Phone?

iPhone-7

With cell phone manufacturers stuck between a rock and a hard place where they need to simultaneously provide cell phones that are durable enough to last their customers a significant amount of time (often years), however, also keep customers updating their phone, it seems like the balance between creating a truly lifeproof phone is becoming hard to find.

Let’s take the Samsung Galaxy S range for example, if not the perfect example. When the Samsung Galaxy S5 was released it included a feature which even Apple aficionados clamoured over – waterproofing. While it wasn’t intended to be taken into the ocean, it held its own when it came to drops in the pool, the toilet or even the kitchen sink. Heck, the phone could even be used during heavy rainfall.

Of course, shortly after its release, Apple introduced us to its newest addition at the time, the iPhone 6. Now, a quick scan of the Groupon Coupons page for Gander Mountain will show many discounts which can be used for waterproof bags designed to accommodate the iPhone 6, proving that as sleek as it was, it had no interest in protecting itself against water damage. Now while this phone isn’t waterproof, it does boast a high level of scratch and shatter resistant layer of glass protecting its prized display.

Both phones provide high levels of self-protection, however, neither are complete with this function. The iPhone is, of course, susceptible to water damage while the Galaxy S5, whilst competent in a drop test, isn’t by any means shatterproof.

Imagine if we were given a cell phone which combined the best of each like proof technology to create a cell phone which truly could survive the duration we expect from it. While there are no doubt people would be falling over each other to buy it, where does that leave manufacturers when it comes time to keep their profits rolling in?

This all comes down to the question in the title – will we ever get a truly lifeproof cell phone?

My prediction – no. And let me tell you why.

Both of the above mentioned devices are coming to the end of their two-year cycle, a time where customers are encouraged to upgrade their cell phones now their carrier contracts are at an end. But if you look around you will see not only that many of these customers are still holding on to these trusty devices, manufacturers have little to offer in the way of features only available in newer models to entice these customers to trade in.

Until manufacturers can truly tap into a stream of features which entice customers to trade in their durable phones, for a long time coming, I am confident we will continue to only see a range of cell phones which feature a selection of lifeproof features, and never a full suite.

How Technology Is Changing Our Social Life

How Technology Is Changing Our Social Life

Have you ever thought about how technology has changed your social life? Over the last few years, as technology has got more and more advanced and commonplace, has this affected your social life? The internet, Wi-Fi, social media and smartphones are just some of the technological advances that have come into our lives and have become intrinsic parts of our everyday lives. Read on to see how these advances in technology have changed our social lives.

Virtual Communication

There was once a time when if you wanted to speak to someone, you had to go and find that person in order to speak to them. Telephones enabled us to speak to people without leaving the house and over the years, things like email, instant messaging services and social media especially have made virtual communication such a normal part of our lives that we don’t realise what we’re missing out on. We’re so used to communicating over Facebook or Twitter that we’re missing out on spending time in the physical presence of other people. Technology enables us to communicate with more people no matter where they are, but this comes at a price: the more time we spend using technology to have conversations, the less time we spend having actual spoken conversations with the other person right there with us.

Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is widely considered to be a psychological condition worth of diagnosis and there are various ways this is being treated around the world, from internet rehabilitation camps in China, to state-funded hospital treatments in South Korea. It’s estimated that internet addiction affects two in five children who are so used to the internet that their lives wouldn’t be the same without it. These children will likely have quieter social lives than children from a few decades ago because the internet takes up so much of their time. Growing numbers of tourist destinations promote the fact they don’t have Wi-Fi so people can interact with one another instead of spending their time glued to their screens.

A World Of Recluses

Technology can turn people into recluses. There’s a growing number of people in Japan known as ‘Hikikomori’, who withdraw from society and spend most of their time in their bedrooms. The internet is one of the accepted causes of this phenomenon, which is seen all over the world. More people than ever before are retreating from society because it’s a lot easier to just go online instead. Many people think it’s alright to just stay in and talk to their friends on social media, rather than go out and actually be with their friends. A sign of this is that online gambling is growing more popular by the year as people find it a lot easier to visit an online casino such as Mansion Casino, rather than visiting an actual casino.

We still communicate with others and have social lives, but technology has changed the ways most of us socialise. It’s convenient to be able to communicate with someone using technology, but it’s important that we still actually meet up with people and speak to them as often as possible, because a life spent staring at screens isn’t good for anyone.

Should Internet Service Providers’ Data on You Be Regulated?

HANOVER, GERMANY - MARCH 05:  A worker connects IBM Intelligent Cluster modules, including servers and data storage devices, of a Data Center at the IBM stand the day before the CeBIT 2012 technology trade fair officially opens to the public on March 5, 2012 in Hanover, Germany. CeBIT 2012, the world's largest information technology trade fair, will run from March 6-10, and advances in cloud computing are a major feature this year.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A new Federal Communications Commission proposal is drawing attention to the data that Internet service providers are collecting about you, and what they can do with that information. This proposal is seeking to limit what ISPs can do with the data they collect about who their customers interact with. These privacy rules would be the first of their kind. After the expansion of the FCC oversight of the industry last year, this is the logical next step many believe.

This proposal was unveiled earlier this month by its Chairman Tom Wheeler. The formal proposal of this plan will be voted on by the FCC on March 31. It will also seek public feedback prior to drafting the final version.

What ISPs Collect

Your Internet service provider tracks where you go online. It collects metadata, such as IP addresses, so that it knows which websites you visit, when, and for how long. It can also see things like app usage. In fact, with a little extra effort on their part, ISPs can pull together even more information about your online doings. If your internet service provider is also your cell phone provider, it can track your physical location, when you have your cell phone on you.

The proposal would demand that ISPs provide a clear disclosure of what information is being collected and how it is being shared. That means users would know if their data is being provided for marketing purposes or some other reason. In fact, subscribers could opt in or opt out of the usage of the data collected.

ISPs Are Not the Only Big Brother

Major Internet companies like Google and Facebook also have files on you. They know even more about you than your Internet service provider knows. And they are already using that information to make a profit off advertisers. The Federal Trade Commission is the governing bodies for these types of companies, so while there is oversight it is not as strong as that which could be provided by the Federal Communications Commission. Telecommunications companies are citing this discrepancy as a reason they should not be forced to live by the recommendations of the new proposal.

The reality is that this guideline to prevent unfair or deceptive trade practices that is in place now, is not nearly as rigid as the new FCC proposal. This is leading many to believe that the FCC is attempting to make Internet service providers live up to a higher standard than internet companies require. The solution may be to make Internet companies also abide by this new proposal.

The topic is sure to generate copious amounts of discussion from those who are unhappy about where it is going and bring Internet data collection to the forethoughts of many.

Article contributed by Amy Medeiros

Wearables & Our Health

Wearable technology is advancing quickly, with the likes of Apple buying into the market there surely onto something big.

One of the ways wearable technology is looking promising is in the area of health. In the below infographic by FlexEnable you can see the problems our current healthcare systems are facing and how wearable technology can help, such as tracking a patients heart rate without having to have an appointment and having an insight into a patients sleeping patterns without having to bring a patient in for monitoring.

Just by making patients information digital could save the UK healthcare system around £5 billion pounds. That’s a lot of money that could be invested into research for currently incurable health problems.

Wearables For Our Health Infographic