Pokémon Go has swept the nation and beyond to become one of the most downloaded apps within the first week of its launch. Based on the concepts developed for Niantic’s Ingress game, which has a strong cult following, Pokémon Go has brought location-based augmented reality to the mainstream consumer market with a vengeance. In the name of research (ahem), and perhaps because it sounded fun, I was an early adopter. With friends and family signing-up quickly, I knew there was no way I could resist the urge to go Pokémon hunting.
While I cover cutting edge categories such as digital video distribution and home automation, many who know me realize my category expertise only rarely translates into being an early adopter tech consumer. As a leading indicator, I still drive a car with roll down windows. But...
The smartphone has fundamentally changed our lives, and how we interact with each other. It allows us to stay in contact while out-and-about through more than just voice calls; and it enables us to ignore the people right in front of us when we choose. Sure, it’s a mixed bag of good and bad behaviors, but with 70 percent of U.S. consumers carrying a smartphone (and some carting more than one) we take for granted many conveniences that caused major headaches before the smartphone.
I remember getting my first cell phone like it was yesterday. It was my 15th birthday and the phone I was thrilled to receive was dumb, heavy and oh so cool all at the same time. Thirteen years later, I’ve had my share of ever-evolving phones from the Motorola Razr, to the very first iPhone, and so on. I have games galore, messaging apps and yes, I can still make the occasional phone call. And yet, has the phone lost its cool factor?
There is a perception that viewers are cutting the cord in droves, similar to the chopping down of Truffula trees to produce Thneeds. I, a tree hugger, am becoming a cord hugger, though a far cry from the Lorax of the cable industry. In this regard, my TV habits represent the majority as cord cutting is just starting to proliferate. This is my story; one about switching from Fiber Optic TV and re-subscribing to cable despite much consideration around cutting the cord.
I love free stuff — free samples, free trials, and who doesn’t like a free lunch? By reaching out to folks like me, Amazon Prime has engaged droves of online shoppers via free two-day shipping, with a paid annual membership fee; five years ago, the deal got even sweeter with free streaming video content.
Going to the movies was my favorite way to escape a mundane suburban childhood. Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first film where I truly felt the peril of the movie’s hero with heart-racing adrenaline and a first-person perspective. Gripping the seat with both hands, I lived through the moments with Indiana Jones as he narrowly escaped a booby trapped cave, ran for his life through a primitive jungle and was dropped into a den of slithering snakes – barely avoiding certain death, time and time again. In that darkened movie theater, it was hard to imagine anything feeling any more real and thrilling, but the advent of Virtual Reality promises to raise the game, bringing consumers an even fuller, more immersive experience.
It’s no secret that we all keep our smartphones close, and they are the most personal of personal devices that are available to us. Indeed, on average we interact with our phones 150 times in a given day, which means that if we assume that we all get a decent night’s sleep, we reach for our phones every six-to-seven minutes during the waking hours. So what do we reach out and do first?
“Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you,” said Graham Alexander Bell, as he made the first ever phone call 140 years ago yesterday. And, of course, I’m sure Mr. Watson came running from the other room, probably wondering why they couldn’t have invented video conferencing instead. How times change; when the landline phone rings at my house, the kids barely look up from their smartphones and no one makes a move to answer the thing. And so it rings and rings until voicemail finally kicks in…and no one bothers to check that either. If you want to talk to one of us, call us, not the house. And yes, we all have video conferencing, but on our own personal little screens.
For the past couple of years I’ve exercised under the theory that a step is a step is a step. But apparently I was completely and utterly wrong: in reality, a step taken while running has less value than a walking step. Confused? Me too..