First there were car phones and admittedly I waited in line to get one when they went mainstream. It was a Motorola something or other and it came with a curly antenna for the back window. From there I got a Nokia, a flip phone, a BlackBerry, and now iPhones. These life changing devices would not have happened without the fabless semiconductor ecosystem so congratulations to us all! Seriously, we changed the world, absolutely.
Unfortunately there certainly are downsides to new mobile technology. Distracted driving is one and we now have laws to help prevent that. In fact, I lobbied for them after I was run down while riding my bike and left for dead by a young lady who was arguing with her boyfriend on her cell phone. I was training for the Ironman Triathlon and as a result of the accident I can’t even do a Triathlon much less the famed Ironman. But I’m alive and that is more than some people can say.
The most disturbing trend I see now is people dying trying to get their phones back. A passerby asked a 15 year old girl what time it was. She took out her phone, he grabbed it and drove off (it’s called apple picking). She jumped on the car as it sped away to get her phone back and died when she fell off. This apple picker was caught and is being charged with murder. Another gentleman dropped his phone on the subway track and died trying to retrieve it. The most horrific one I read about is about a man who dropped his phone in a septic tank and was overcome by the fumes when he tried to retrieve it. Seriously, a septic tank? A toilet maybe, but a big tank full of nastiness? The find my iPhone feature is very useful but what if you find a bad person with it? My son told me a story about retrieving his fiancés iPhone after tracking it to the apple picker’s apartment. The picker sheepishly gave it back but that could have ended badly.
Are these devices really worth dying for? I highly doubt it is the cost of the devices that makes us risk our lives for them. I suspect it is the information they contain or, more likely, smartphones are now an important part of our hierarchy of needs. I added semiconductors to this one as a joke but look at the needs part of Self-actualization, Esteem, Love/Belonging, Safety, and Physiological. It is a bit frightening to see how big of a role technology now plays in this whole theory. Know what I mean?
I now tell my loved ones that replacing a smartphone is much easier than replacing them….. Maybe smart watches ARE a good idea?
Speaking of wearables, catch me at the CASPA Summer Symposium this weekend at the Intel Auditorium for: Enabling Technologies That Will Shape The Next Wearable Applications. My beautiful wife will be there too. I hope to see you!
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