Archive for August, 2012

Weekend Reading: smartphone demand & tech for back-to-school

Think back to ten years ago to 2002. How big a role did technology play in your day to day life? If you were in school, did you own a smartphone or tablet? Or for business, how much could you really do outside of the office on your phone?

This week we rounded up a couple great articles on smartphone demand and technology for back- to- school.

Can the smartphone industry keep up with the demand?

Digital Trends recently uncovered some interesting facts surrounding people’s insatiable demand for smartphones by looking at inventory, expectations, and market share in their post “Smartphone market growing faster than anticipated.” The author even goes so far as to guess you may be reading this very article on your smartphone now! More on what types of smartphones continue to be highest in demand, and predictions on the cell phone market in 2016 in the full article here.

Technology & back-to-school

With the new school season just around the corner, there were a ton of great posts and articles published this week about back-to-school and technology. Here’s a few of our favourites:

  • This Toronto Star article called “Back to school: technology tips for parents takes a closer look at technology for kids 10 years old and younger. How young is too young to trust them with technology? Are there tools on these devices to even benefit the younger users? Check out the full article here.
  • Visual.ly published this great infographic on college students and gadgets through the years. Did you know that in 1984, there was only 1 computer for every 92 students?!
  • A recent consumer survey found that back-to-school spending is expected to top $500 per shopper this year. But what are kids really looking for? Take a look at this interesting article from Shine from Yahoo! on back-to-school trends.
  • And with all that new, back-to-school technology, how do you keep it all safe and secure? Check out this article called Five Quick and Easy Must Have Back-To-School Technology Security Tips.

What technology do your kids think is a must have for back-to-school?

Kelly is a regular contributor for Redboard.

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The University of the future

Five to ten years from now, what will university classrooms look like? Will there be textbooks?  A professor? Will there even be a classroom?  The Rogers Innovation Report released last week showed that 55% of Canadian youth believe that technology will transform education, and have an impact on all three. As for me?  I would say that professors, books and classrooms will always have a role in education, however they need to evolve and adapt to our increasingly digital and connected world.

Books and Bytes

Textbooks and class notes are being digitized. They are becoming accessible through computers, tablets and smartphones, making content easier for students to purchase, access, and carry around.   But it’s not just the convenience and lighter load that’s exciting…. it’s where all of this can take us

Digital textbooks will be used by students as the primary entry point for learning in an online universe.   Much like today’s smartphone apps, digital textbooks will be highly interactive and touch-based.  They will feature a web of hyperlinks and online resources that students will use to connect to the widest array of ‘curated’ content and subject matter expertise from sources around the world.  The content will include fact, fiction, opinions and in some case misinformation.   Students will ‘learn’ by figuring out how to navigate the world of data, critically evaluate and apply the information to the subject at hand.  This will opens them up to a world of continuous learning.   When the semester is finished, the textbook doesn’t just collect dust; it becomes a living reference.

The Connected Professor

What will the professor of the future look like? He or she will no longer just present and discuss the course content, but rather become the guide to deciphering and transforming the available content ‘live’ in the physical or virtual classroom. Professors will use a range of connected teaching tools such as interactive web applications, real-time data analytics, virtual reality and telepresence to bring course material to life.   They will show students how to efficiently manage and critically evaluate data, and apply it to their subject matter. In some cases the professor will continue to be in the classroom providing human interaction in an online world.  In other cases, professors will hold virtual classes, with students from across the country and around the world attending live webcasts and online discussions.

The Savvy Student

What about the students themselves? What does all of this mean for them? Students will take a more active part of the classroom, and be connected to the lesson in real time through their smartphone or tablet.   Voting, commenting, sharing links real time in the classroom will be encouraged.  The digitization of textbooks and course materials will mean that students will be able to collaborate more easily with their classmates using social networks.  Students will be encouraged to share content online, through virtual study groups or discussion groups. These groups will be made up either of people in their class, or of people around the world who, they’ve discovered, share the same interest.   Classmates will become resources, helping students ‘decipher’ the never-ending sources of data. They’ll remain ‘friends’ for on-going dialogue.  Ultimately, students will need to find the right mix of ‘physical’ and ‘virtual’ education to meet their learning needs.   While a medical student can learn the basics of anatomy in a virtual classroom, for example, he or she will still need a teaching hospital in order to engage with a real patient, using real human contact.

I believe that education’s role is to prepare us for the world in which we live. This is my vision for the classroom my 6-year old son, who is growing up in a connected, interactive and digital world, will come to know. If I’m right, it’ll keep the best of what we have now, while incorporating the best of what technology has to offer.

What do you think the classroom of the future will look like?

Robert Switzman is Rogers Futurist and Senior Director, Convergence. He is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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Weekend Reading: Phones, Maps, Mobile Payments, and a blog for Canadians!

Just when you think you’ve got a grasp on your smartphone, Facebook or GPS, the tech industry swoops in and shakes things up again! This week we found out some interesting stats on youth and how different generations utilize technology, more on the future of mobile payments, and highlight Google with news about their new Canadian blog and fun facts on Google Maps.

Half of Teens Couldn’t Live Without Their Phone for a Week [STUDY]

We’ve seen these studies and infographics time and time again, yet they never cease to amaze us when we really stop and think about how dependent we are on our tech.

According to a recent study by TextPlus that was highlighted in Mashable, half the teens between the ages of 13-17 surveyed said they couldn’t go longer than a week without their cell phones. 36% ventured to say they couldn’t go 10 minutes without checking their phones even! What is it that makes them so addictive to teens – is it the apps, games or texting capabilities? Find out this and several other interesting findings in the full article here.

We also released our new infographic in our Innovation Report series earlier this week confirming much of the same information. Check out what our findings had to reveal about bridging the generation gap, and what role technology is playing in education these days.

11 Fascinating Facts About Google Maps

Google Maps is one of those tools we’ve gotten so used to having in our lives, we rarely stop to think about the advances it’s made, or what goes into maintaining it. Mashable came up with 11 Fascinating Facts About Google Maps that we have to admit are pretty cool! For instance, number 8 asks “In the history of Google Maps, how many Street View images have been taken?” Other facts include what equipment is used in hard to reach places, and where you can see museums and particular landmarks. Check out the complete list here and let us know if you can add to the list!

Google Canada launches the official Google Canada blog

As Mobile Syrup points out in their reporting on Google’s new Canadian blog, “Finding specific news about Google in Canada has been sparse.” But this week Google made millions of Canadians happy when they announced the launch of an official blog pertaining specifically to Canadian Google news.

Check out what our friends at Mobile Syrup had to say about the story, then head on over to the Google blog to read up on the latest updates for yourself!

Mobile Payments to Reach $1.3 Trillion Annually by 2017, Study Says

The opening paragraph in Tech Vibes article pretty much sums things up: “According to a recent report from Juniper Research, global mobile payment transactions are expected to grow nearly fourfold over the next five years to more than $1.3 trillion.”

At Rogers, we recognized the trend and desire from the public as well, which is why in May we announced an agreement with CIBC to launch Canada’s first mobile payment solution. The technology is already there, it’s now a matter of regulation, security, and reliability for the public. Read more on the study through Tech Vibes here and let us know how you’re embracing mobile payments.

Kelly is a regular contributor for Redboard.

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Technology helps to bridge the generation gap while playing an increasing role in education: New Rogers Innovation Report

Generation gap? What generation gap? The latest Rogers Innovation Report explores how parents and their young adult children are using technology to stay connected. No surprise that today’s youth are connected, but what about their parents? Are the 45 plus set using the latest smartphones and tablets in the same way as their kids?

According to report findings, parents are using technology in a lot of the same ways their kids are. They’re texting on their smartphones and tablets, reading books and magazines online and shopping and downloading music and downloading the same number of apps:

  • In nearly equal numbers (40 per cent) connected young Canadians (ages 18-24) and their connected parents (43 per cent) are using technology to stay close with one another
  • Youth and parents say texting is their preferred smartphone and tablet activity (94 per cent for youth and 82 per cent for parents)
  • Youth and parents both look to technology to stay close to family (48 per cent for youth and 52 per cent for parents)

Technology for back to school

Report findings also show that technology is playing an increasing role in education. Of the youth surveyed who attend school, the majority are using technology, including smartphones, for educational purposes like online research, accessing coursework, sharing with classmates and interacting with teachers.

Over the coming weeks, our RedBoard series will dive deeper into the latest Innovation Report findings. We will look at how parents and kids are staying connected, how technology plays a bigger role in education, and what relevance this has as we enter the busy season of back-to-school.

As you and your family prepare for back-to-school, how do you plan to stay connected?

How do you compare with Canadians we surveyed? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section, or on Twitter using the #RIRExplores hashtag.

Sara is a regular contributor to RedBoard

The Rogers Innovation Report, produced by market research specialists and software developers Vision Critical, regularly explores Canadians’ habits and views on technology. You’ll find complete study results on Slideshare.

 

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Canada’s Fastest Athletes Compete against Rogers Ultimate Internet

When you think of Canadians who possess ultimate speed and strength, which athletes come to mind? From sports to technology, Canadians are passionate about high speeds. Whether it’s a skilled serve on the court or a swift slide into home base, or the rate it takes to download your favourite song – the faster the speed, the better. Rather than merely telling you how blazing fast our Internet is, we challenged our intense Internet speeds against two Canadian sports icons: tennis star Milos Raonic and Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie. These famous Canadian athletes, respectively known for their fast serve and sprint between bases, have never gone up against an opponent like the Rogers Ultimate Internet. They were both eager to step up to the plate.

The Pros:

Tennis Pro Milos Raonic: For Milos’ challenge, we set up a tennis court in a Toronto warehouse, with a “play” button target at one end.  We challenged Milos to serve the ball and hit the target to play a song, faster than we could download it using Rogers Ultimate Internet. Let’s not forget Milos is well known for his powerful serve, reaching 250 km/hr. He has also served more aces than any other player so far in 2012. Does Rogers Ultimate Internet have a chance against a champion like Milos?

Toronto Blue Jay Brett Lawrie: Brett is notable for his intensity and speed on the field. For Brett’s challenge, we set up at the Rogers Centre and rigged second base with a “play” button target.  We challenged Brett to run from first base to the second base target to play a music video, faster than we could download it using Rogers Ultimate Internet.  Can Rogers Ultimate Internet beat a Blue Jay?

The Challenger:

Ultimate Internet: Rogers offers download speeds of up to 75 Mbps – the fastest available in the most homes. We recently launched superfast download speeds of up to 150 Mbps, currently available to a quarter of our Internet customers, and we’re continuing to expand this high speed coverage at a rapid rate.

How did Milos and Brett fare against Rogers Ultimate Internet? You’ll have to check out the above videos to find out.

 

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Rogers first to launch LTE in Moncton today

Hey, Moncton, are you ready for speeds faster than a University of Moncton student can scarf down a plate of poutine during frosh week? Rogers LTE network is now live in Moncton, making Rogers the first carrier to offer the fastest wireless network technology in New Brunswick. Rogers has invested $20M in its wireless network in New Brunswick and with today’s news, further expands Rogers LTE network in Atlantic Canada, adding to cities including Halifax and St. John’s.

Monctonians can now experience the power of LTE technology. Whether it’s families using faster connections to stay in touch through video calling, students downloading large files or businesses travelers experiencing faster speeds on the go, our customers tell us LTE is improving their lives. Starting today, Moncton customers will have access to the Rogers LTE network with theoretical download speeds of up to 75 Mbps, with typical download speeds ranging from 12 Mbps to 25 Mbps. * These speeds are significantly faster than those Canadians experience on any other 4G HSPA+ wireless network.

Moncton is the latest city in Rogers’ continued LTE network expansion. Rogers will add a number of new cities from coast to coast to its LTE network with the plan to cover approximately 60 percent of the population by the end of the year.  Upcoming LTE launch cities  include Trois Rivières, Sherbrooke, Quebec City, Kingston, Ajax, Pickering, Oshawa, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Niagara, Windsor, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, London, Barrie, Sudbury, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Kelowna, Whistler, Abbotsford and Victoria. More cities will be launched in 2013.

Rogers offers the largest selection of LTE devices in Canada. Recent additions to the LTE devices include Sony’s first LTE smartphone – the Sony Xperia Ion - and Canada’s first LTE Rocket hub, a Rogers exclusive, that connect up to 15 devices simultaneously.

Welcome to team LTE, Moncton!

 

* Within Rogers LTE network footprint. Based on tests comparing data throughput speeds and on geographic coverage area comparison (in square kilometers) to Bell and Telus’ LTE networks.  See www.rogers.com/coverage for full details on Rogers LTE network coverage.

The information in this post is current at the date of posting and is subject to change without notice.

Heather is a first time contributor to the Rogers blog. Welcome on .. (Red)Board … Heather!

UPDATE (December 9, 2012, 9:10 a.m.): Rogers now expects to launch LTE in Winnipeg next year. Rogers offers the largest and growing selection of the most popular LTE smartphones, tablets and mobile Internet devices. LTE-enabled, devices work on the Rogers 4G HSPA+ network in Manitoba today and will be ready when we launch LTE in Manitoba. In addition, as Rogers customers travel across Canada their Rogers device will automatically benefit from LTE coverage in the many markets where LTE has already launched. The Rogers LTE network is available in select Canadian cities; visit rogers.com/lte for coverage details.

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Weekend Reading: the back to school season begins

School supplies and fall clothes are springing up everywhere, which to many signifies the end of summer. When summer ends, another school year begins – but how well equipped are your tech savvy kids as they gear up to head back to class? In this week’s edition of Weekend Reading, we check out what kids are really hoping they’ll get out of your back to school shopping, and which Android apps will put them at the top of their class.

What Kids Really Want When Back to School Shopping

We’re starting to see a trend when it comes to shopping for loved ones. We saw it earlier this year when we looked at gift ideas for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Not surprisingly, we’re now seeing the same trend with the younger generations for back to school: tech gadgets are what everyone wants!

While 43% of parents think their kids want a new wardrobe before heading back to school, 42% of those surveyed would rather have a new smartphone, laptop or tablet. These stats and more are available in Mashable’s infographic, Tech or Threads.

Tech Vibes Henry Truong had similar thoughts on the subject when writing his own post, How Technology Has Changed Back to School Season Forever. In it, he compares his own experience as a college student over half-a-decade ago with the life of students today. He marvels about how much mobile technology has advanced over the last 6 years when it comes to things like note taking, and studying, not to mention freedom from lugging heavy textbooks around campus.

Where do you think we’ll be in another 6 years? Tell us below in the comments!

Get Your Kid Set up with Top Android Apps for School

If your kids already have the latest and greatest in Android devices, make sure they’re set up to make the most of them! Mashable posted a great article with 5 Android Apps for Your Straight-A Student. Without giving anything away, their picks cover course basics such as spelling, Spanish and math, while aiding with study habits and schedules. Surely a must read for any student on an Android device!

For another great list of Android apps for education, check out this blog post by Ali from Android Authority, where apps like Advanced English and Thesaurus and Formulas Lite top the list.

Which Android app for students is your favourite?

Kelly is a regular contributor for Redboard.

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Buckle Up: Rogers Hi-Speed Internet Is Getting Faster

As the company that first introduced high-speed internet to Canadians, we know you look to us for faster speeds and dependable service. As part of our ongoing commitment to you, we’re pleased to introduce our fastest internet service yet as well as added assurance when it comes to your broadband internet usage.

Introducing our New Ultimate Hi-Speed Internet plan

With download speeds of up to 150 Mbps* and upload speeds of up to 10 Mbps, our New Ultimate Hi-Speed Internet plan takes surfing the Web to the next level by offering the fastest internet service available to the most homes and double the download speed of our old Ultimate service. For a monthly rate of $122.99 (excluding modem) and with a 250 GB monthly usage allowance, customers will enjoy more of what they want, faster, through their Rogers Internet service.

The New Ultimate Internet package will be available to all our customers in Ontario by the end of this year, and to Atlantic region customers by early 2013. Please drop by a retail location or contact us to see if this service is available in your area.

Surf with confidence

We are always reviewing our systems and processes to ensure they’re working the way they should. When it comes to the tools we use to measure customer wireline broadband data usage, we’ve taken this one step further. We’re working with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) to certify the processes and systems we use for accumulating your broadband data usage. We are working towards SysTrust Certification for our Hi-Speed Internet Data Meter Systems, a rigorous process developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).

We are proud to be the first Canadian carrier to participate in this process. PwC is reviewing our internal processes and systems including how data usage records are generated, collected, aggregated, and displayed on the online Data Meter for billing and reporting purposes. The SysTrust Certification process can take up to a year to complete, but we are well on our way.

We’re committed to Creating World-Leading Internet Experiences in partnership with our customers. We continue to invest in our networks and introduce new services like Rogers One Number and Rogers TechXpert to ensure we are responding to our customer’s ever-changing internet needs.

* Speeds may vary with Internet traffic, server or other factors.

  Patricia is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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New series: behind the scenes with Cirque du Soleil

Did you know that this year, approximately 15 million people will see a performance by Cirque du Soleil®? Pretty incredible, right? When you think of Cirque du Soleil, you’re probably thinking about amazing acrobatics and beautiful, artistic choreography, but what about what happens behind the scenes?

As the official wireless provider of Cirque du Soleil Touring Shows, we had the opportunity to go behind the scenes with members of the artistic, creative and production teams to create a series of videos about the people who work together to put on these world renowned shows.  What audiences may not realize is that behind the spectacle of Cirque du Soleil, there is a complex business powered by communications technology.

Each of the four episodes looks at a different element of Amaluna™, the newest Big Top show from Cirque du Soleil and highlights some of the different communications technology that helps make Cirque du Soleil, communication is key.

In our first video, Bob and Bill, the composers of Amaluna, talk about what goes into making the musical score for the show.

We’ll be publishing a new video in the series each week over on our business blog, RedBoard Biz. You can also see the full series on our YouTube channel. Make sure you check out next week’s episode where we meet Iuliia, one of the gifted performers of Amaluna.

Have you ever been to a Cirque du Soleil show?

Miranda is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Great sports flicks on Rogers Anyplace TV

Any Given Sunday - available on Rogers Anyplace TVSports – it’s on everybody’s mind right now. Baseball. Football. Soccer. Rogers Cup tennis. It’s just that time of year. So on that note, here’s a list of some of our favourite sports flicks, available right now to rent on Anyplace TV.

Caddyshack – if golf is your game, you’ll definitely yell “fore!” watching this hilarious comedy classic with Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield.

Jerry Maguire – starring Tom Cruise as a jaded sports agent, watch it again for the Oscar-winning performance from Cuba Gooding Jr. and the immortal “You had me at hello”.

Any Given Sunday – director Oliver Stone scored a touchdown with this football drama starring Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz and Dennis Quaid.

Major League II – Long before he was “winning”, Charlie Sheen was starring in this baseball franchise. You won’t strike out if you rent this one.

Chariots of Fire – this Oscar-winner from 1981 about two British track athletes still holds up, thanks to strong performances and its memorable score from Vangelis.

If you’re looking to catch live Rogers Cup action, you can also tune in on Anyplace TV here.

What’s your favourite sports flick of all time?

Andrew is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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