Mobile technology: The amazing impact on our lives

Mobile technology: The amazing impact on our lives

Summary: When we think of mobile technology we usually think of processors, apps, and gadgets. That's fun to do, but it's more important we stop and think how profoundly it impacts our lives.

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iPad used to enable communication for patients otherwise unable

I've been passionately following mobile technology for decades. In the beginning, the mobile devices weren't very mobile and a strong back and arms were required to lug them around. They always had to be next to a power outlet, as there was no such thing as batteries.

The technology that drives mobile devices has improved a lot since those days, and especially in the last ten years. Mobile gadgets have gotten smaller, more powerful, and very useful. They are everywhere and play increasingly greater roles in the lives of most everyone. Availability of mobile devices is rapidly spreading throughout the world and making significant improvements in many lives.

It's worth taking a break from our obsession with how thin, light, and adaptable the hardware of mobile gadgets might be. While wondering what the next great phone or tablet may be is fun, it's not everything. What is important is how profoundly it's improving our lives, and the major roles these gadgets are assuming.

Mobile technology, in the form of phones, tablets, and notebooks, is making our lives better than ever before. It does this in many ways, not the least of which is making communications routine. We can be in touch with those we need to reach, whether work-related or personal in nature. 

We can send important files almost anywhere in the world in seconds so business is addressed when it is critical. We can collaborate with co-workers in real-time no matter how spread out they may be. We can get confirmation or approval of vital decisions on the spot. Mobile technology has changed the way we do business for the better.

Villagers in third world countries who have no local healthcare can be diagnosed and have treatment prescribed by distant healthcare providers.

Communication is wonderfully impacting our ability to stay close to friends and family. We can talk to them anytime to find out how they are doing. We can have video chats to not only stay in touch, but to reach out and touch with a nearly physical presence. Loved ones can share in special occassions from great distances as if they are in the same room. We can make funny faces for our kids when we can't be there with them, which is far more important than it sounds.

Brave soldiers who are valiantly serving our country in distant lands can see their newborn child thousands of miles away.

Never have we been able to share so much with friends and family than we can today, and that is in great part due to mobile technology. Without mobile devices and the technology behind them, participation in social networking would never have grown as much as it has. Sharing seemingly trivial information like where we are, what we are doing, and what that looks like significantly impacts our relationships with friends and loved ones.

Mobile technology has given a voice to those otherwise cut off from the world during cataclysmic events. That voice can reach out for help when local tragedy strikes, and for the first time these people are not alone. They can share their plight using mobile communication through text, voice, and, most importantly, images, and bring about real change.

On a less profound note, we can do simple things like pay for parking at meters with our phones. We can find out which bus we need to take and where to find it. We can accurately find places we need to be even when we have no idea where they are. We can explore new places and find new things that interest us with little effort.

We have more information in our hand than at any time in history. It has become second nature to quickly look up helpful resources for whatever activity we need to do. Our gadgets can even anticipate what information we need and present it to us when it is most useful.

These daily uses of mobile technology, frivolous though they might seem, have transformed us into a society more tightly connected with each other. We have true friends through such connections even though we may have never met them in person. We can converse with like-minded individuals all over the globe, and debate those with different views just as easily. This stimulates conversations never before possible, and the resultant friendships are just as strong as those in "real life." They have become real life, as a matter of fact.

While mobile technology has improved our daily lives on many levels, it has profoundly raised the quality of life for many. Healthcare is an area that has embraced mobile technology, and while it's still in the infancy of adoption of this technology, it is already making profound improvements for many.

Healthcare providers can review home medical tests from anywhere and make crucial changes to the patient's care. Medical staff members can receive pacemaker tests remotely using a phone and change the programming of the device to address changes in the patient's condition. Doctors can see intricate diagnostic images on phones and find conditions that need immediate treatment, all while the patient is comfortable at home.

Villagers in third world countries who have no local healthcare can be diagnosed and have treatment prescribed by distant healthcare providers. Patients in areas experiencing significant problems with counterfeit medications can use a phone at the point of purchase to confirm if a medication is legitimate. This is saving lives and improving healthcare every day for those affected.

Children with ailments such as autism are using tablets to help them focus and communicate with those around them. Patients recovering from strokes and brain injuries are using tablets to great effect in their recoveries. Patients of all ages are using mobile devices to communicate with healthcare providers and loved ones as they never could before.

People born without hearing are having implants that can be programmed by wireless technology that allows them to hear their children speak for the very first time. Text messaging on phones has made a tremendous impact on communication for the deaf. 

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Glucose meter and insulin pump

Diabetics can monitor their glucose level and have it wirelessly transferred to a small insulin pump that injects just the right amount to keep them where they need to be.

Blind individuals can use smartphones to not only improve their lives but also help achieve an incredible level of independence. Not only do these phones speak to the blind so they know what is displayed on the screen, they have software that can safely guide them out in busy cities. Mobile technology can help the blind pick out clothes for the day that match. The technology on smartphones can scan change received from a purchase and tell them how much was given.

This article just scratches the surface describing the benefits that mobile technology provides today. The technology is rapidly evolving and will help even more as time passes. We are in a fantastic era of mobile technology, and it is positively exciting to watch it unfold. When I stop and think of all the amazing benefits we are getting from this technology, I get goose bumps.

It's fun to wonder what the next tablet or phone might be like and what capabilities it might have, but that's just the little stuff. The improvements that are appearing in our daily lives, and society in general, is what really matters.

Mobile technology is enriching our lives. It is giving a voice to those without, either due to circumstance or medical conditions. It is making communication possible for those who live in a void. It is keeping distant loved ones close, and building friendships no matter the location of those involved. It is saving lives, and making healthcare possible for those otherwise without. It is bringing the world closer together — a truly amazing situation.

It's an exciting time to be watching mobile technology. There's no telling how far we will go with the technology of the not-too-distant future, but it will be a fantastic ride.

Topics: Mobility, Laptops, Smartphones, Tablets

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11 comments
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  • Great article!

    Thanks for your continued insights!
    jmb codewriter
  • Don't forget that for all those upsides

    there are quite a few downsides, too.
    William Farrel
    • Yes...

      ...like Farcebook & Twitter.
      IT_Fella
    • And like

      inconsiderate & unthinking people who manage to irritate others with their obsessions, lack of public manners, and obligatory belief that the device deserves more attention than the real people around them. Add to that the brain damaged law that bans use of cell phones in school zones, and hope you never need to call for any kind of emergency help while in such a zone. As with any tool, careful and thoughtful use can be great, but sadly many humans don't seem gifted with that kind of ability (based on casual public observation).
      Willnott
    • Yes, its not all cakes and ale.

      I just found myself posting a few days ago a comment something akin to a reminder of the days of old (actually not so many years ago) when if someone from work gets hold of you saying how they have been trying to contact you and you could simply say "sorry, I was out, and I dont have an answering machine at home".

      DONE.

      No argument or blame laying. People used to go out and be out and there was no disturbance, and they had a life beyond others who "had to get hold of them".

      Thats gone. Gone forever. We kissed it goodbye and moved on to a new and a little bit sadder, busier world where the need for others to contact us is more important than us being left alone when we are "out".

      It should be a little bit of a harsh reminder around here that people who say “it dosnt have to turn out that way” are so completely wrong when they poo-poo any idea that some new tech may not be everything we ever wanted. I recall one person years ago told me face to face that cell phones were going to be “all good” because if you don’t let one take over your life you don’t have to worry about your own time being stolen away from you. You just shut it off and leave it behind to get private time away and out of the house.

      That worked maybe about a year and a half or two years tops, at any rate, there hasn’t been anything like that for professionals in any industry where you want to be competitive. So that makes no industry in the end that just forgets their cell at home. Not if you like your job.

      This is a classic example of what I and many others who were prepared to face the realities of what the future with cell phones would indeed bring. Many swore “it dosnt have to have a downside”. Don’t tell the boss you have a cell phone. Tell the boss you wont answer the cell phone on weekends. Its all up to you. The cell phone will be all good if you want it to be.

      WRONG.

      Its not just your child having a cell phone so you always can get them in an emergency. Its not just about you having a cell so you can make sure you can get that call right away you have been waiting for that your dying to hear. Its every bit as much as every industry in the world saying, now we can all do business at light speed 7 days a week 24 hours a day because everyone who matters a bit in our company has a cell phone and it dosnt matter if they are watching their favorite team at the arena, if they are at the movie with their wife or on the way to the park with their kids, or sleeping at 4AM, when an emergency hits at work, we can get hold of them and our company can do the job!

      Of course it was going to be just that way for most companies. Of course! Why would people think different. All it takes is to have one company say “we will do that!” Then they pretty much all have to do it sooner or later. Or die.

      Such common sense. Unfortunate common sense, but common sense none the less.

      So please people, use some common sense when discussing the future of products and how they will work and how they will affect the public. Why live in a dream world if the dream is a just lie you tell yourself to help you imagine a world where its all cakes and ale and everything finally goes your way.
      Cayble
      • Obviously, the cake is a lie.

        I'm not sure about the ale though.
        Han Rasmussen
  • Optimism

    It is refreshing to read such optimism and the love of life. It reminds me of the book Freckles who so marveled about the nature surrounding him. And, you are expressing similar thoughts about today's mobile technology.
    Thank you!
    lchene
  • People & Businesses Benefit

    Working in a mobile company, it is great to have a brief, refreshing overview of how mobile devices are making all of our lives better. As you said, it allows contact from further away - and allows us to have such an incredible tool in our pocket. Customers can reach businesses, businesses can reach customers, we can communicate seemingly from worlds away - and things are only becoming easier.
    brianaaaaaa7
  • Interesting

    I've found reading the comments, juxtaposed against the story, interesting. It's useful, I suppose, to "count our blessings" in relation to modern technology. Being positive, after all, isn't a bad thing. The difficulty I have with just saying "amen" to the story and moving on feeling all good and fuzzy is that my observation of the true nature of today's pervasive and invasive technology is not rosy. At all.

    I often think of that line from Star Trek: "Just because we can do a thing, doesn't mean that we should" (paraphrased). Yes, the convenience of mobile technology is nice. The flip side is 4 major negatives:
    1) Mobile technology is about control & data mining - everything else that may benefit us is only a "side effect"
    2) The fast pace of life with all it's toys does not equal happiness or a better life. Quite the opposite.
    3) I argue that the bulk of most people's online "friends" are little more than "good acquaintances" at best. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but mobile technology is only good for communication, not connectedness. Indeed, the overall speed & fluidity of the 21st century basically imposes transient, shallow "friendship" on the developed world.
    4) Now that those driving us to rely on the vast glut of electronically-powered appliances have us beholden to them, "flipping the switch" goes from being an annoyance to a disaster - on many levels. Never mind prying eyes and sticky fingers.

    I will finish by taking issue with the idea of ideas being able to be debated. While this is true to an extent, it doesn't take more than a casual glance at how things are debated to note that any idea that isn't deemed "popular" or "in step with now" is viciously pilloried and those holding to any truly opposing ideas made pariahs of the first order. Shall we enumerate the current list of sins of the "robust debate" fallacy? Note the following "touchy" subjects where those who hold the "opposing view" are slighted, maligned and generally hated on:
    - The theory of evolution
    - Gay marriage
    - 9/11 and other false-flag operations
    - Small government vs big government
    - The war on terror
    - Israel vs the Philistines
    - The global warming scam
    - The globalists & the corporatocracy
    - The constancy of the speed of light
    - Nibiru
    - UFOs & demons
    - God

    I would wager all I own that I've just managed to raise the blood pressure of everyone who read that list (who even has the tiniest passing interest in anything happening outside of their immediate life). And I'd further wager that a good percentage of those who read the list already formed a judgement in their mind as to who I am and what I believe - and I posit that such judgement won't come after careful thought, nor would most be even vaguely interested in debating me on those subject or truly hearing my point of view and considering the validity of my point and evidence. No, instead said judgement will come pretty much instantly and harshly, borne out of the "social narrative" imposed by the nebulous "them" that make it their job to shape and form public opinion. The same "them" (who are legion and varied, if working towards the same goal) who has no interest in truth or real debate, but only of imposing a certain worldview onto everyone. And those of us who don't go along with that narrative, for whatever reason, are neither respected nor engaged in honest debate. And this is the greatest negative legacy of the "connected" world so worshipped by many: "Four legs good, two legs bad". But of course, even that legacy changes at the whim of those now living in "the big house", because as well all should now know (sarcasm), "everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others". It's frightening how applicable Animal Farm is to the 21st century. Not the mention 1984. It's life Jim, but not as you know it.
    naibeeru
  • james

    Great article keep up the good work
    prophet957
  • Amazing? Could be amazingly positive, and amazingly negative impacts.

    Being able to be in touch with family and friends, with immediate access, is a positive. Being in touch with the rest of the world is, perhaps, not such a positive. There is more time being wasted on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and a lot of other "social" web sites. Wasting time is not a net positive, and, essentially renders people less productive. Wasteful and less productive are things that are not good for any society.

    Also, isn't texting and using the smartphones while driving, a big new cause for many thousands of deaths and injusiries, yearly?

    And, isn't mobile technology taking away some of the "work" which our minds should be doing? We no longer need to memorize phone numbers, and we no longer need to "go places" to experience our surroundings or the world.

    I'm not complaining about how nice the technology is, but, I just don't see how our lives have been "amazingly" improved.

    If someone were to conduct a detailed study on the real impact on work and productivity, we might find that, productivity and quality of work might have suffered. Correlation is not causation, but, since mobile tech took off, our economy has not been as productive as in the decades prior.
    adornoe