Smartphones have become the standard for communication in the United States and many parts of the world. Landline-based telephones have been replaced as the preferred method of vocal communication. Text messages and messenger apps are the means to which quick notes are exchanged; entire conversations spanning hours or days are held by passing messages back and forth. Access to the Internet and all of its information (real or fake) are at one’s fingertips. Posts on social media sites are made hourly, and read every few minutes. But there are other uses for a smartphone; uses most people do not know about. Some simply need a specific application to use while others require a peripheral device along with a software download.
Here are five such uses for a smartphone:
As technology improves, many small businesses are finding it cheaper to use a smartphone for their everyday processes rather than a bulky computer-based system. Inventory for a local mom-and-pop shop can be managed in real-time from their smartphones. Credit card payments can be accepted by anyone thanks to card readers produced by companies such as PayPal and Square. This makes it easier for crafters to sell their wares at festivals, self-published authors to sell their books in person, handmade furniture makers to sell their custom pieces to a society that does not carry a lot of cash anymore.
The days of in house secretaries is coming to a close. Technology is replacing the need to have a fully staffed office. Many secretarial and personal assistant jobs are being outsourced to virtual assistant services. Business professionals use various apps on their smartphones to manage appointments, maintain and conduct market research, bookkeeping, real-time sales tracking, and perform a number of administrative aspects usually handled by someone in a local office. This allows people to take their business on the go without being tied to an office.
Driving a Car
Smartphones are getting so sophisticated that they can even drive a car. Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, is capable of not only driving a vehicle, but its object-recognition technology and artificial intelligence gives it the ability to learn and improve.
With a number of add-on devices on the market, one can measure anything from the steps they walk, to the calories they burn. One such peripheral measures muscle shape and growth to determine true weight loss, more accurate than a simple bathroom scale that does not differentiate between body fat and muscle mass (muscle weighing more than fat). The screens of your smartphone will soon be able to detect health issues based on your DNA and proteins left behind when you swipe or type. The camera on a smartphone has been found capable of detecting bacteria, viruses, and toxins, making it a powerful tool for a (small) percentage of the price of professional equipment.
Powering a Satellite
Google is currently powering a satellite in space. A Nexus One smartphone, full of specifically-designed scientific applications, is powering one of the smallests satellites orbiting the Earth. The smartphone in the heart of the Strand-1 satellite is tasked with recording a variety of information in space and has more computing power than the rovers sent to Mars. The designers of the satellite were searching for a means of developing a system efficiently and inexpensively.
With every smartphone having more computing power than the first rockets that shot into space, it is truly amazing what has been or is being developed for the devices. What started out as merely a mobile communication device has now become powerful tools with diverse uses and equally diverse peripherals that expand those uses.