QR Code Resources: History and Evolution of the Smart Phone
Imagine the excitement when the very first telephone call was made in New Haven, Connecticut in 1878. Merely being able to communicate with someone across town was a miracle at that time. Alexander Graham Bell was responsible for this amazing invention which was originally referred to as an “electrical speech machine.” Since that time, telephones have come a long way. Bell would be in awe of the technology that exists today.
Traveling forward in time to the 1980's, Motorola introduced the first cellphones. These devices were huge, heavy, expensive and needed to be recharged often. These phones are now referred to as “brick phones,” because of their large weight and size. Back in the 1980's these phones cost approximately $4,000, weighed about two pounds, and measured approximately eight inches in length by two inches in width.
PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants) were created in the 1990's. Their purpose was to be organizers for appointments, notes and phone numbers. They weren't phones but had many capabilities of mini computers. IBM in conjunction with BellSouth offered the first smartphone to the general public in 1993. This device was referred to as “Simon” and included email access, a touch screen and even fax sending and receiving among other features. Simon would be considered today a very basic, low-end smartphone.
Cellphone and Smartphone Uses
How many people do you know who don't own a cellphone of some sort? Only very young children and a few traditionalists tend not to have these amazing devices in today's world. Image running out of gas on a busy highway. A cellphone (charged and having service at the time) is the best thing you could have with you. Help is just a phone call away. For this type of situation basically any type of cellphone will allow you to get the help you need. Smartphones are extensions of cellphones. They are a basic cellphone with the addition of many great features such as a GPS (Global Positioning System) and other applications.
What are some things that you can do with cellphones or smartphones? Text messaging is big today! Most teenagers communicate only by text. They don't call friends on the phone any more, they merely text them. Even adults have gotten in on the trend of text messaging. Text messaging is a quick and simple way for parents and their children to keep in touch. Cellphones are a great way to keep in touch with your children when they go to college. Most cellphones can take still pictures as well as videos to capture all the great moments in your life. These are some of the very basic uses of cellphones today. Where the real excitement enters the picture is with smartphones and their capabilities.
There is a relatively new way of marketing that comes from Japan called QR (Quick Response) codes. The United States is just beginning to see the wisdom of these mighty codes. A QR code is a small square with its inner area resembling a maze of lines. When a smartphone has certain barcode scanner apps on it (such as QR Reader for iPhones), you can scan or take a picture of the QR code. The scanner app will then translate the QR code into links that have been placed into the code. For example, these QR codes can take you to a product website or allow you to purchase something or even vote on fun topics. You can stand on a street and merely point your phone at a QR code on a billboard to scan it. It truly is a great way to get information on something of interest to you.
Smartphones have advanced quite a bit since Simon. Some of the top smartphones of today include iPhones, Droids and Blackberry's. Different phones offer different apps. The day has come where you can talk to your phone and have it do what you want it to do, and also have it talk to you. Amazing! The newest iPhone in 2011 is the iPhone 4S. It has a touch screen. You can actually ask it to find you a restaurant in the area you're in and it will give you suggestions. The phone also includes FaceTime which allows you to place a call to someone and see the person you are calling (if they have certain products that can reciprocate). The iPhone 4S has a Reminder app where you can put locations or deadlines and set alerts. Some of the great apps in this amazing phone include: maps and compass (to help you get where you're trying to go), voicemail you can see before listening to, email (send and receive), surf the Web using Safari, play music, watch HD movies, game center, calendar, contacts list, and Find My iPhone (can send you messages to help you locate your lost phone) among others.
A newer Blackberry in 2011 is the Blackberry Torch 9810. It also has a touch screen with an on-screen keyboard. It is equipped with backlighting to help you see. This smartphone has GPS functionality to help you find your way. It is equipped with a camera and video recorder as are most smartphones. Some of the great apps available on this phone include: Wikitude (a Web browser that turns your surroundings into augmented reality on your phone screen. You can see events and restaurants and even have them on a map.), Amazon music store, Blackberry traffic (giving you an estimated time of arrival, road closings, alternate routes, etc.), Poynt (restaurants, movies, etc.), and several games such as Rollercoaster Rush.
Another newer smartphone is the Xperia PLAY, which is a certified Android smartphone. It is part phone, part gaming system. It actually has real gaming console controls to enhance your gaming experience. It is PlayStation certified. Facebook is on this phone for people who enjoy keeping in touch with friends. The phone has a front-facing camera for video chatting, and includes Google Talk. You can also download Skype for free if you prefer. It has Google Voice Search, so you can simply state what you are searching for or even say a text message for it to send. Gmail is on this phone to allow you to receive email no matter where you are.
As you can clearly see, smartphones are amazing devices that can change the way you do things. Some of the apps that come with these types of newer phones (such as searching the Web through speech) are incredible. Smartphones are smaller and lighter than ever before so you can take them everywhere with you. The iPhone 4S, for example, weighs a mere 4.9 ounces and measures approximately 4.5 inches in height by 2.3 inches in width by .37 inches in depth. You can access the internet from almost anywhere you go, and you can now see people you talking to on your phone. You can take pictures and capture video with them. The following links will provide you with even more information on the history of phones, smartphones mentioned in the article, QR codes and more.
- Bell's Telephone: The website of the Franklin Institute offers a good and brief history lesson on the invention of the telephone.
- Mobile Devices in Health Care-Smartphones and PDAs: The brief article on the Medical University of South Carolina Library website discusses the birth of PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants) leading up to smartphones.
- Overview of Phones, PDAs and Smartphones: The document by Rice University is an excellent source for information regarding phones, PDAs and Smartphones.
- Smartphones Unlock Secrets of High-Tech Barcodes: This is a very informational article by CTV News that discusses the emergence of QR codes and what smartphones can access with them.
- QR Codes Can Help Spread the Word About Your Business-Online and Off: The article on the PC World website focuses on QR codes, and provides information on smartphones and the apps needed to scan QR codes.
- Iphone: The Apple website will give you all the information you seek on the iPhone 4S along with other Apple products.
- Blackberry Torch 9800/9810: The website by Blackberry explains all the apps and features for the Torch and other Blackberry products.
- Xperia PLAY: The Sony Ericsson website discusses the Xperia PLAY, its game playing features and apps.
- Increasing Fuel Efficiency With a Smartphone: The article by MIT News provides information on how to save gas by using a smartphone.
- Smartphones: This article by Northwestern University Information Technology discusses many different smartphone features.
- Smartphones: This is a PPT presentation by Carnegie Mellon University which provides information smartphones.
- Applying Ergonomic Design Principles “Redesigning the Smartphone”: The PDF discusses what smartphones are, history and design and specifications.
- Smartphones in the U.S.: Market Analysis: The PDF by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign provides information on the history of smartphones as well as the market definition, threat analysis and other topics.
- Smartphone User Survey: A Glimpse into the Mobile Lives of College Students: An interesting article by the University of Colorado-Boulder that focuses on survey results from college student smartphone users.
- Smartphones “Your Smartest Business (and Life) Plan Yet!”: The fun article by the University of Oklahoma provides information on why you should own a smartphone and some of their features.
- QR Codes Explained: The article by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning tells you all about QR codes.
- Quick Response Codes: The brief article on QR codes by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has a QR code to practice scanning with, briefly explains the codes, and provides links to get a scanning app for your phone.
- 2011 Best Smartphone Comparisons and Reviews: The Top Ten Reviews website article focuses on 10 currently top smartphones and compares and reviews their features. It also explains why you should buy a smartphone.
- The Next Big Marketing Frontier: Smartphone Moms: The article by Knowledge Wharton Today discusses moms who own smartphones, mobile commerce and iPhones.
- Best Smartphones: The article by Cnet Reviews covers five different smartphones including: Apple iPhone 4S, HTC Sensation 4G, Motorola Droid Bionic, Motorola Photon 4G and the Samsung Galaxy SII.