The first smartphone was The IBM Simon Personal Communicator announced at COMDEX on November of 1992. It was a massive device with stylus support for touch input, 1 or 1.8MB memory card support and a nickel-cadmium battery, providing about one hour of talk time. The device allowed users to receive and make telephone calls, send emails and even faxes. Other applications included a calculator, address book, calendar, appointment scheduler, electronic note pad and handwritten annotations.
Although the first smartphone was not widely adopted, nowadays we can`t imagine our life without these useful devices. According to a 2012 survey, the U.S. smartphones users will account around 70% of all U.S. mobile devices by the end of 2013. We use them in every sphere of our daily life. About 92% of consumers use their smartphones to send text messages, whereas 84% use them for browsing the Internet. But with the advent of new technologies our cellphones have become really multi-functional.
For instance, It's already possible to use smartphones as the key to our cars, lockers and front doors. The Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT in Darmstadt has developed software solutions that can turn smartphones into secure and versatile keys. ShareKey provides users with new functions- it can issue digital keys remotely for a specified amount of time and send these keys directly to the recipient’s smartphone as a QR code. To open a door, all you need to do is to wave the phone near the lock. The researchers will be demonstrating their ShareKey software at this year's CeBIT trade fair in Hannover (March 5-9, 2013). The capabilities of today`s smartphones seem almost boundless so we can have our own handily sized computers with us everywhere we go. Apparently, not everyone is interested in such functionality.
«Dumb phones» are still very much being used, sometimes becoming a symbol of anti-consumerism . There's even an anti-smartphone sold by a Netherlands company. John's Phone is a telephone that only allows making and receiving calls. It doesn’t support text messaging, calculator, alarm clock but does come with an address book function- a pen and paper pad built into the back of the device. The phone was included in the permanent collection of the new Museum of Ideas and Inventions in Barcelona.
Tastes differ. Some people become real geeks being hooked on smartphones. Others being afraid of falling victim to the cellphone prefer dumb phones. But whether smartphones really hook users into dependency, or just have become really handy device remains unclear. And what group do you belong to? Are you really addicted to your smartphone, or you are a proud owner of a dumbphone?
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