New Media Applications

Brief 2

Smartwatches / Wearable Technology

“It delivers important information, helps you perform everyday tasks, instantly connects you to people
 … and… tells the time” (Apple, 2016).

“Smartwatches are becoming the next big wave of tech integrating into our daily life.” 
 
(Medium.com, 2015).

With 175 individual user glances every day, it is argued that the smart watch is the biggest technological wave of recent times to integrate into our everyday lives (Medium.com, 2015). Surveys show that in Q3 2015, smart wearables, accounted for one third of the market (IDC, 2015); a market, it should be said, that also includes basic fitness trackers. It is considered that smart watches will surpass these more basic technologies in the next 24 months as user interfaces rapidly advance (IDC, 2015).

A study conducted by Medium.com, from which the opening quote was obtained, states that the smart watch market is primarily dominated by male users, citing that of all users, 94.3% are male (Medium.com, 2015). However, one defining argument to the study, is that this only involved Samsung Galaxy Gear; not the considered market leader, Apple (Medium.com, 2015). Furthermore in the study, it is claimed that only 11% of users use the smart watches outside of work and that their usage drops just 10% outside of business working days. This suggests that this relatively new media is perhaps considered a business tool rather than a must-have toy (Medium.com, 2015).

A very interesting point to note when considering the future of wearable technology such as the smart watch, is that made by Gjovik University College, Norway, regarding their use in home-based dementia care (Boletsis et al, 2015). Their study denotes that a large number of dementia sufferers benefit from home-based care to allow them to maintain their freedom and quality of life. They consider that such assistive technologies could monitor health aspects during non-visiting care hours, thus enhancing the patient’s care and further maintaining their independence (Boletsis et al, 2015).

When such studies as referenced above are expanded to include all market runners, and in conclusion, I am of the opinion that smartwatches are indeed the next big movement in our technological and online lives. To match the pace of today’s lifestyles, the simplicity and user-friendly interfaces, the smartwatch appears to be the next big ‘must-have’ and not necessarily just for the affluent few who can afford them.


E-readers (Namely Kindle)

E-readers allow you to read electronic books, even play games (thenextweb.com, 2016).

“E-readers will bring about the end of physical books.”
 (Medium.com, 2015)

The Kindle is a small, hand-held electronic device, on which we can read books (Digital Unite, 2016). The Kindle’s manufacturer, Amazon sells the e-books from it’s website, we download them and read them just as we would a normal book. Albeit, we lazy humans don’t now have to exert energy turning pages. With it’s introduction, there was a collective gasp about the impending uncertainty of the future of print (NY Times, 2015). Between the e-reader’s launch in 2008 and 2010, sales of the e-readers rocketed by 1260%, and naturally, the book sellers of this world watched their sales dwindle as a result (NY Times, 2015).

As written by The New York Times in 2015, and following the demise of the high street bookseller Borders, the digital apocalypse, as they describe, didn’t actually arrive (NY Times, 2015). It seems instead, that sales of digital books have rapidly slowed and e-reader adopters are now what’s termed as ‘hybrid readers’, those who juggle electronic and printed books (NY Times, 2015). Furthermore, a study conducted by the Association of American Publishers found that e-books accounted for approximately 20% of the whole market; roughly the same as a few years previous (NY Times, 2015).

However, as a direct retaliation to this report, Fortune claim that sales of e-books are not declining (Fortune, 2015). Instead, the argument raised suggests that it’s actually the numbers of publishers who are members of the Association of American Publishers that are dropping, thus clouding the survey results and delivering a false response (Fortune, 2015).

As people are slowly rekindling (no pun intended) with the vinyl record market in opposition to digital music, I’m in agreement with the Medium report’s author; perhaps it is the case that people now long for something tangible as we are immersed in an increasingly digital world (Medium, 2015).

To conclude, I disagree that e-readers will be the demise of the paper, printed books. I am of the opinion however, that the likes of the kindle has its place; on holiday for example. Who would carry four books on holiday? Yet, there’s nothing more delightful than the satisfying smell, weight and feel of a printed book.


Mobile Phones

Mobile phones allow us to send/receive text messages, access the internet, take photographs, play music, play games, listen to the radio… and make phone calls (talkmobiles.org.uk, 2016).

“One word sums it all up: MOBILE. We can’t live without our mobile devices”.
 (Medium, 2015)

The past few years have seen an enormous adoption of smart technologies and despite the country and market being studied, it has been shown that the growth of the smart phone has been explosive (Business Insider UK, 2015). Interestingly, the study found that it’s not just the Apple iPhone that’s so popular; it’s the smart technology that has us all gripped (Business Insider UK, 2015). Studies show that the UK as well as the USA are the largest smartphone adopters, with 73–75% of the market (Medium, 2015).

However, with such popularity, comes some recognised behavioral change; mobile technology is disrupting the way we live (Medium, 2015). It’s apparent that such advances in technology are drastically altering the way we do things (Medium, 2015). We now want more things, better things, and we want them faster (Medium, 2015). In another report on a funny, but potentially dangerous accident in Australia, it’s claimed that someone (a non-swimmer) had to be rescued by the coastguard after falling off a pier. The person in question was too busy checking their phone to realise their imminent faux pas (Medium, 2015).

It is agreed that such technology is distracting and that our attention is very often compromised by it. An interesting quote from Medium captures the problem perfectly; “Usage and adoption of new technology nearly always outpaces our understanding of how that technology will ultimately affect us” (Medium, 2015).

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association states that technology has proliferated family life and such intrusions and interruptions which they call ‘technoference’, are becoming more and more frequent and they will likely create conflict (APA PsychNET, 2016). There were strong links between such technoference and depressive symptoms and real psychological effects (Medium, 2015).

There are of course solutions to such issues; abstaining from the use of such technologies perhaps. But in a world driven by such modern gadgets and with our desire to be contactable at any given moment and to be notified of the merest change on our social media pages, I would initially agree with the opening argument quoted. However, it states that we cannot live without our mobile devices. I disagree. Admittedly, looking at the statement far too literally, we can of course live with our mobile devices. They neither deliver food, water, light nor sustenance. If we were however to regard the mobile phone as merely a phone, not a lifeline, we would regain our relationships and once again interact with each other as nature intended.


Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the new way of layering 3d and sometimes 4d digital experiences on to our 2d analog world (Medium, 2015). Augmented reality is a field in computer vision that creates enhanced views of the real world (Medium, 2015).

‘It’s the real world — only better.”
 (Wall Street Journal, 2011)

Named by technology company Qualcomm Inc as the latest technology buzz to grip the digital world (Wall St Journal, 2011), augmented reality is the overlaying of digital information on to the real world (Wall St Journal, 2011). Computer generated content such as graphics, sounds and other sensory delights are superimposed over the real world increasing a user’s experience of their world to be enhanced (wall St Journal, 2011).

The earliest examples of AR are mobile phone apps that tell the user where the nearest train station is, if they were to point their phone at the street on which they’re standing (Wall St Journal, 2011). It’s already been identified that AR could be a brilliant advertising tool. An example of this comes from the Yellow Pages in America, when the same user trying to find their nearest station points their phone at the street, AR adverts for nearby nearby businesses could also pop up (Wall St Journal, 2011). More effective than the usual on-street advertising, it allows a restaurant to make users aware of that day’s menu or short-term ad-hoc special offers such as happy hour. It allows potential buyers to ‘try it on for size’, test products and services from the comfort of their own home (imediaconnection.com, 2011). It also allows people to test how a piece of furniture might look in their living room, before buying, only to later find out it’s way too big (imediaconnection.com, 2011).

However, there is a strong case against AR too. As the technology is able to tell you what’s happening on your own doorstep, it could feasibly be telling people you don’t want to know, that you’ve just bought a brand new TV (augmentedplanet.com, 2010). That said, typical geotagging on some social media sites also allows an innocent post about such a new purchase to be easily found by unsavory characters (augmentedplanet.com, 2010), so it’s not necessarily the fault of AR.

In conclusion, I would agree with the opening quote; It’s the real world, only better.” As with any technology, if it falls in to the wrong hands, things could end up quite messy. But for me, the benefits of AR outweigh those concerns. With the digital world moving ever faster, the likes of traditional design for print have the potential to get lost. As previous evaluations have determined, the majority of us are heavy users of technology and new media applications. Thus, we have to be able to reach our intended audience where we find them.


Bibliography

Action, P. 2 (2015) New technologies for A new era of advocacy — powering up advocacy. Available at: https://medium.com/powering-up-advocacy/new-technologies-for-a-new-era-of-advocacy-a5c809e9750b#.qehla41bk (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

Action, P. 2 (2015) New technologies for A new era of advocacy — powering up advocacy. Available at: https://medium.com/powering-up-advocacy/new-technologies-for-a-new-era-of-advocacy-a5c809e9750b#.jecva42nh (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

Alter, A. (2015) The plot twist: E-book sales slip, and print is far from dead. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/business/media/the-plot-twist-e-book-sales-slip-and-print-is-far-from-dead.html?_r=0 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

Boletsis, C., McCallum, S. and Landmark, B.F. (2015) ‘The use of Smartwatches for health monitoring in home-based dementia care’, Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Design for Everyday Life, , pp. 15–26. doi: 10.1007/978–3–319–20913–5_2.

Danova, T. (2015) THE SMARTPHONE REPORT BY COUNTRY: Adoption, platform, and vendor trends in major mobile markets around world. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/smartphone-adoption-platform-and-vendor-trends-in-major-mobile-markets-around-world-2015-3 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

Fueled by growing demand for smart Wearables, IDC forecasts worldwide Wearable shipments to reach 173.4 Million by 2019 (no date) Available at: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25903815 (Accessed: 16 February 2016). Smart watches surpass basic trackers

Fueled by growing demand for smart Wearables, IDC forecasts worldwide Wearable shipments to reach 173.4 Million by 2019 (no date) Available at: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25903815 (Accessed: 16 February 2016). Current Smartwatch Market Size

Inc, A. (no date) Apple watch — the watch Reimagined — apple (UK). Available at: http://www.apple.com/uk/watch/watch-reimagined/?cid=wwa-uk-kwg-watch (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

Ingram, M. (2015) No, e-book sales are not falling, despite what book publishers say. Available at: http://fortune.com/2015/09/24/ebook-sales/ (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

Skeldon, P. (2011) Even better than the real thing. Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704739504576067780550250202 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

StoriesCover (2011) Available at: http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/29639.asp (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

What is a kindle? (no date) Available at: http://digitalunite.com/guides/hobbies-interests/reading-learning/what-kindle (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

lester (2010) The case against augmented reality. Available at: http://www.augmentedplanet.com/2010/01/the-case-against-augmented-reality/ (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

maxogles (2015) How to stop checking your phone like an addict — better humans. Available at: https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-stop-checking-your-phone-like-an-addict-5bed938dd168#.9ycu1vxr2 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

maxogles (2015) How to stop checking your phone like an addict — better humans. Available at: https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-stop-checking-your-phone-like-an-addict-5bed938dd168#.suojxpua4 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

mgsiegler and Siegler, M.G. (2015) The death of the death of books — 500ish words. Available at: https://500ish.com/the-death-of-the-death-of-books-174147664fcf#.6jtmohqmx (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

mgsiegler and Siegler, M.G. (2015) The death of the death of books — 500ish words. Available at: https://500ish.com/the-death-of-the-death-of-books-174147664fcf#.umav2s2mu (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

(no date) Available at: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2014-52280-001/ (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

- talk Mobiles (no date) Available at: http://www.talkmobiles.org.uk/functions.html (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

watcherapp (2015) Research confirms smartwatches are tools, not toys. Available at: https://medium.com/@watcherapp/research-confirms-smartwatches-are-tools-not-toys-66629ff60cc0#.hvirygt4u (Accessed: 16 February 2016). Primarily male users

watcherapp (2015) Research confirms smartwatches are tools, not toys. Available at: https://medium.com/@watcherapp/research-confirms-smartwatches-are-tools-not-toys-66629ff60cc0#.d7jqtmhnr (Accessed: 16 February 2016).

Citations, Quotes & Annotations

Action, P. 2 (2015) New technologies for A new era of advocacy — powering up advocacy. Available at: https://medium.com/powering-up-advocacy/new-technologies-for-a-new-era-of-advocacy-a5c809e9750b#.qehla41bk (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“We can’t live without our mobile devices.” (Action, 2015)

Action, P. 2 (2015) New technologies for A new era of advocacy — powering up advocacy. Available at: https://medium.com/powering-up-advocacy/new-technologies-for-a-new-era-of-advocacy-a5c809e9750b#.jecva42nh (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“In a world with more mobile devices than people, mobile tech is dramatically disrupting “the way we live” by disrupting every industry, including government.” (Action, 2015)

“Recent studies show the United States and the United Kingdom leading the pack on smartphone adoption with 75% and 73% of the adult market, respectively.” (Action, 2015)

Alter, A. (2015) The plot twist: E-book sales slip, and print is far from dead. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/business/media/the-plot-twist-e-book-sales-slip-and-print-is-far-from-dead.html?_r=0 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“But the digital apocalypse never arrived, or at least not on schedule. While analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply.” (Alter, 2015)

“Five years ago, the book world was seized by collective panic over the uncertain future of print.” (Alter, 2015)

Danova, T. (2015) THE SMARTPHONE REPORT BY COUNTRY: Adoption, platform, and vendor trends in major mobile markets around world. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/smartphone-adoption-platform-and-vendor-trends-in-major-mobile-markets-around-world-2015-3 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“The global smartphone market at large is still growing at a strong, steady pace.” (Danova, 2015)

Inc, A. (no date) Apple watch — the watch Reimagined — apple (UK). Available at: http://www.apple.com/uk/watch/watch-reimagined/?cid=wwa-uk-kwg-watch (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“It delivers important information when and where you need it. Helps you easily perform everyday tasks in seconds. Instantly connects you to the people and things you care about most. All while keeping precise time. Yes, it’s a watch.” (Inc, no date)

Ingram, M. (2015) No, e-book sales are not falling, despite what book publishers say. Available at: http://fortune.com/2015/09/24/ebook-sales/ (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“A recent piece in the New York Times about a decline in e-book sales had more than a whiff of anti-digital Schadenfreude about it.” (Ingram, 2015)

Skeldon, P. (2011) Even better than the real thing. Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704739504576067780550250202 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“It’s the real world — only better.” This is how Jay Wright, business-development director at technology company Qualcomm Inc., describes the latest buzz technology to grip the digital world.” (Skeldon, 2011)

StoriesCover (2011) Available at: http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/29639.asp (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“Augmented reality allows your customers and prospective customers to experience your products and services hands-on, and they don’t even have to come into a store to do it! They can do it all from the comfort of their home.” (StoriesCover, 2011)

What is a kindle? (no date) Available at: http://digitalunite.com/guides/hobbies-interests/reading-learning/what-kindle (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

(What is a kindle?, no date)

Note: What is a Kindle

maxogles (2015) How to stop checking your phone like an addict — better humans. Available at: https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-stop-checking-your-phone-like-an-addict-5bed938dd168#.9ycu1vxr2 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“Usage and adoption of new technology nearly always outpaces our understanding of how that technology will ultimately affect us.” (maxogles, 2015)

maxogles (2015) How to stop checking your phone like an addict — better humans. Available at: https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-stop-checking-your-phone-like-an-addict-5bed938dd168#.suojxpua4 (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“There were correlations between “technoference” and lower life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and technology-related conflict. In other words, real psychological effects.” (maxogles, 2015)

mgsiegler and Siegler, M.G. (2015) The death of the death of books — 500ish words. Available at: https://500ish.com/the-death-of-the-death-of-books-174147664fcf#.6jtmohqmx (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“I wonder if it points to a world in which people long for something tangible as we increasingly drown in digital bits.” (mgsiegler and Siegler, 2015)

mgsiegler and Siegler, M.G. (2015) The death of the death of books — 500ish words. Available at: https://500ish.com/the-death-of-the-death-of-books-174147664fcf#.umav2s2mu (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“That device was supposed to bring about the end of physical books” (mgsiegler and Siegler, 2015)

(no date) Available at: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2014-52280-001/ (Accessed: 19 February 2016).

“Technology use has proliferated in family life; everyday intrusions and interruptions due to technology devices, which we term “technoference,” will likely occur.” (no date)

watcherapp (2015) Research confirms smartwatches are tools, not toys. Available at: https://medium.com/@watcherapp/research-confirms-smartwatches-are-tools-not-toys-66629ff60cc0#.hvirygt4u (Accessed: 16 February 2016). Primarily male users (watcherapp, 2015)Note: Watches are used as business tools rather than toys