One of the biggest examples of technology affecting the lives of people is the phone. A phone, which was considered a luxury three decades ago, has now become one of the bare necessities of life. The journey of a phone began with landlines. Not everyone could afford a landline back then. There were barely one or maybe two phones in the block. All calls for anyone in and around the neighbourhood would be on those numbers. When a call for someone else from the block was received, one used to either shout out to the person or send a member of the family to inform them. It was a great way for neighbours to catch up on the local gossip and news.
Then came the cordless phones, which could be carried around to a certain distance. It was merely used for convenience where one would carry the phone around talking as well as continuing with ones work. It was also cool back then to have a cordless phone specially the imported ‘foreign’ ones!
Late 90’s saw the rise in use of mobile phones. And by 2005, there was tremendous increase in mobile phone usage with multiple service providers competing with each other to attract customers with cheaper plans. Now, being seen without a phone is unthinkable! Nomophobia is a proposed name for the phobia of being out of mobile phone contact. In fact, by the remotest chance if you come across someone who doesn’t own a phone let alone a smart phone, that person is looked upon as an alien from some remote planet!!!
Carrying the latest smartphone has not only become a trend but is also looked upon as a status symbol. The latest and fancier your phone, the cooler you are considered. Is it just the looks and price of the phones that attract customers or the features of phone also influence the buyers? Would people consider a phone which priced lower but provides the same look and feel, including the features as another phone priced at unreasonably high rates? The answer is both yes and no. While most of the millennials believe in going for the brand image even if it means paying a bit more, there is quite a large percentage of consumers who would go for a phone which is lighter on the pocket and at the same time provides similar features as the high-end counterpart.
So what are the features that interest the consumers of today’s market? Does anyone even use all the features that they so deeply research over before purchasing a phone, or rather, what is it that most people use their phones for?
While there are quite many uses of a phone, following are some interesting uses I came across during my study on the use of phones.
Did you know:
- A phone comes in handy when you want to avoid someone! If you don’t want to talk to someone, pretend like you’re on a call and walk away. You’re walking on the street and come across someone you want to avoid, pretend like you’re messaging on the phone and coolly walk away.
- Gone are the days when keeping in touch with your NRI family and friends cost you a bomb. With internet on the go taking control over our lives more than we could ever imagine, distance is no longer a barrier. Shop for/with your sister who lives on the other side of the globe like she was right there beside you. Like something? Click a picture and send not only to her but to any and every one worth an opinion.
- Make your travel hassle free. Carry your boarding pass (or e-ticket) with you on the phone. Just a click (or scan a QR code) and you have all the information available. Saves time as well as saves paper and most of all saves you from the mess of carrying too many documents.
- Lost on an unknown route or want to know which route to avoid on your way to work? Unlock your phone and with the correct data entered, you have all the information you could have asked for. Sometimes more than what you ask for as well.
- Have someone to be picked up from the railway station but hate waiting at the station? You now have apps which let you track every meter the train covers including when it has stopped at a crossing or a signal. All you need to know is the train number.
- A phone is your second best and handy companion while travelling (next to of course a real person!). At some unknown destination if you’re lost, worry not. Your phone becomes your guide. Be it to find hotels to stay or places to visit using travel apps, or interact with the locals in their native language with translator apps, travelling to the unknown is no longer a worry.
- Phone truly helps you go cashless. Use it as your wallet to pay for any and everything right from your taxi to your grocery shopping. You can even pay for your food at corporate cafeterias from your phone. So it’s alright if you forget your wallet at home as long as you do not forget to carry your phone along.
- Want the world to know where you are and what you’re doing? Use your phone to check-in and tag yourself. And if you’re lucky, you might even win free vouchers or discount coupons with your check-ins depending on where you are.
- Paranoid about someone breaking into your house when you aren’t around? Install cameras and connect them to your phone. Not only can you watch and listen to what’s happening in the house, you also get video clips of any movement happening in the house. So much so a mosquito flies, you instantly receive a video clip of the same on your phone.
- Use your phone to develop cool games and apps. With the right software and tools, you can be the cool gamer who develops cooler games and apps.
You might have the most expensive phone with a high resolution camera, storage space enough for an elephant to sleep in, best sound quality which might turn you deaf, but all said and done, sometimes the most a phone is used for is something as simple as to check time!