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This week, we learned that bigger is better – when it comes to phablets – and that Canadians believe the phone of the future could have a flexible 3D screen and built-in projector. Plus, we talk wearable tech and check out the latest stats on smartphone ownership. Read all about it in the latest edition of the weekend reading.
Fun with phablets
My favourite portmanteau – phablet, a combined phone and tablet – appeared in Deloitte’s TMT Predictions for 2014. The CBC even went so far as to say “phablets are here to stay.” The technology, media and telecommunications report forecasts that increasing numbers of seniors will buy smartphones – rising from 30 per cent currently in the developed world to 50 per cent. This has been partially fueled by increasing screen sizes – from 3.5 inches to at least four inches. And Deloitte says the large-screened phablet, which have screens between five and seven inches, are expected to account for a full quarter of smartphone sales worldwide this year.
Do you own a phablet?
The Deloitte predictions also looked at the technology around Google Glass and fitness bands, predicting that in 2014 consumers will be wearing more than $3 billion worth of newly purchased equipment. At CES, wearable tech was in the spotlight, including the Pebble Steel Smartwatch and Neatmo June Wellness Bracelet, which both made Mashable’s list of the best tech of CES 2014.
What would you like your wearable tech to do?
We asked Canadians to stretch their imagination and predict the smartphone of 2019. Five years from now, the standard device is expected to boast a flexible touchscreen with 3D screens and augmented reality. Built-in projectors, retina scanners, personalized voice commands and high-quality cameras also make our future device wishlists.
Apps are also expected to become more personal and, eventually, be able to completely control our homes, from organizing our meals and groceries to running the bathtub and mowing the lawn.
What household task would you like your phone to handle?
Whether you’re standing in line at the grocery store or the ski hill, it always seems like you’re surrounded by people who are glued to their gadgets. The latest stats from eMarketer prove that more and more of us are relying on mobile devices – growing to 4.55 billion this year. Meanwhile, smartphone usage around the world hit the one billion milestone in 2012, and this year it’s expected to climb to 1.75 billion. Nearly two-fifths of all mobile phone users – close to a quarter of the global population! – will use a smartphone at least monthly this year.
How often do you use your mobile?
A decade ago, I would have never imagined I’d be tracking my runs, taking photos and communicating with friends almost exclusively by smartphone. But yet, here we are! A majority of Canadians are now part of a Device Generation or “Generation D” – we’re using our smartphones and apps for just about everything. To usher in the New Year, the Rogers Innovation Report asked Canadians how they thought technology would change in the future.
Turns out, Canadians expect the smartphone of the future to have some major upgrades, including widespread touchscreen adoption, retina scanners (according to 53 per cent of those surveyed), built-in projectors (25 per cent), augmented reality (46 per cent) and 3D screens (33 per cent). A whopping 71 per cent expect smartphone batteries that could last for weeks without charging, while 62 per cent believe their devices will offer more personalized voice commands and 42 per cent anticipate flexible screens. And 64 per cent think their smartphone cameras will continue to improve, eventually offering better quality photos than digital cameras.
The devices themselves aren’t the only thing Canadians expect to change – there are also major evolutions expected in what we can do with our portable tech.
Our tech experiences are expected to become more personal, with 73 per cent predicting apps will become completely customized to meet individual needs. Thirty-nine per cent even believe technology will replace our face-to-face interactions with others.
More than three-quarters of Canadians expect mobile apps will control their homes, including their appliances, within five years. That means everything from vacuuming to drawing a bath and doing the laundry! These new apps, according to 59 per cent of respondents, will also be able to recommend a recipe, create a grocery list and arrange food delivery to your door.
And, of course, the device of the future isn’t just for work and chores: 25 per cent think mobile apps will allow them to communicate with the family pet. Apps could also help you avoid a fashion faux pas, with 39 per cent hoping their devices will choose an outfit from their wardrobe and even make shopping easier. Four in 10 Canadians even foresee a mobile app helping them detect knock-off or fake products by simply snapping a photo.
What do you hope to see from the smartphone of the future?
We’ve made our resolutions and looked back on the highlights of the year that was. So now it’s time to embrace 2014 and look forward to the amazing technology the future will bring. Learn all about Generation D and the latest from CES in this week’s edition of the weekend reading.
We’re now more than a week into the New Year – how are those resolutions faring? I’ve shared my tech resolutions for 2014, and so far, it’s going well! My batteries are charged, my device hasn’t been dropped (yet) and I used my phone’s GPS to navigate my way to a weekend ski trip. Not a bad start, right? For a little more resolution help, check out Connected’s 5 apps to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
What have you resolved to change in 2014?
Every year, we survey Canadians to discover their predictions for the future of technology. The new Rogers Innovation Report taught us about a new “Device Generation” or “Generation D,” who live their lives through always-on internet and connected devices. This generation leads high expectations for where tech will take us – a quarter of Canadians think apps will allow people to communicate with pets in the next five years! And more than half, 59 per cent, expect their devices to become a meal concierge, making dinner recommendations, creating grocery lists and arranging delivery. Virtual communication is also expected to trump face-to-face interactions and more than half of Canadians expect to spend more money shopping online than in physical stores. As for the smartphone of the future, bells and whistles are expected to include retina scanners, built-in projectors, augmented reality and 3D screens.
Where do you think tech will take us in 2014 and beyond?
I love to watch the news out of the annual Consumer Electronics Show for a glimpse at the tech gadgets I’ll be coveting in the upcoming year. Wearable tech, 4K televisions and the idea of the connected home have all been highlighted on the show floor. And this year, there were some pretty cool things to check out.
Health and fitness technology was once again a big draw. In 2013 one-third of mobile device owners used their devices to track their health, according to a Consumer Electronics Association study released at the start of the show. While their data focuses on American adults, I’ve certainly noticed an increased number of FitBits around our office. According to the Toronto Star, the show was “awash in ‘wearable’ devices” while Mobilesyrup writes that health sensors are “trending big” at the show, calling out a smart sleep system as well as a smart blood pressure monitor and a smart pill box.
Other super cool products include the EyeX controller, which lets you control your computer and play games with your eyes, a smartphone-controlled door lock, the iRing to control music apps, a 4K first-person camera, a brain activity-sensing headband and a smartphone-controlled drone.
What caught your eye at CES?
Every year, we ask Canadians about their relationship with technology. We want to know how, when and why Canadians are using their devices, and what innovations they’re dreaming about. Here are five things we learned that surprised us:
- Thirteen per cent of Canadians would be willing to give up their pet in exchange for access to wireless internet anywhere, any time.
- One-quarter of Canadian device owners used Twitter or Facebook to communicate with someone in the same room.
- Half of Canadians expect within the next five years they will be able to alter the outcome of a show in real-time by voting on various plot twists.
- Twenty-five per cent trust that mobile apps will be able to read their mood and better predict what they want or need by 2019.
- One-quarter of Canadians believe that mobile apps will make it possible to communicate with household pets.
This is just a selection of what Canadians are predicting for the future and how they used technology this past year. Check out the full report on Slideshare, click here for the full infographic or view our “Generation D is Here ” video here.
What findings surprised you?
From major NHL and magazine announcements to speedy LTE expansion, travel and tablets, 2013 was a busy year at Rogers! I had the pleasure of joining the RedBoard team in 2013 – but I’m told I’m not allowed to call that a highlight of our year! So, in no particular order, here are 13 highlights of the year that was:
- Hitting high speed: We expanded our LTE network to new cities in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia and hit our goal of launching in 95 new markets in 2013 (you can see the full list here). Deploying more 2600 Mhz spectrum than any other provider also meant bringing our blazing fast speeds to more Rogers customers in Manitoba, Ontario, B.C. and Quebec. For us on RedBoard, it was a chance to share our favourite speedy apps, a new infographic and quiz people on the street about what, exactly, LTE means.
- Tablet talk: We were all about the portable devices this year. We learned a bunch of fun stats as a result – about one in 10 Canadians currently own a tablet and 33 per cent of all time spent with tablets happens outside the home. Neil Shuart shared how tablets are all about speed, Bob Stein focussed on the content and Duncan Stewart looked forward to hybrid devices. We even polled regular Canadians about how they were using their tablets – watch the video with their answers here.
- Wanderlust: We gave into the travel bug this year, sharing blog posts from San Francisco, California, Buffalo and even Prague. We also shared all things roaming related, from debunking myths, finding out just how many of you want to keep tabs on your pets, and sharing our favourite apps and how to control your data use to explaining our new worry-free $7.99 rate.
- Great gigs: We also celebrated our employees this year, starting a new series featuring Cool Jobs at Rogers – from Shelagh Barrett’s work with the Rogers Youth Fund initiative and Elana Schachter’s role in the digital magazine space to Hitesh Lad’s contributions in customer service. LinkedIn also recognized Rogers employees as among the top five in the world for volunteering – measured by those who added “Volunteer and Causes” information to their profiles on the professional social networking site.
- Office perks: Rogers was also named one of Canada’s top 100 employers for 2014. The Mediacorp list recognized Rogers for great office amenities, the employee bonus program and parental top-up payments, among other things.
- Get inside Rogers retail locations: Google Street View has mapped New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House, France’s Musee D’Orsay, and even Parliament Hill. And, in 2013, we were able to add Rogers retail locations across the country to that list. To check it out, browse on over to your store’s Google + page (click the “See Inside” option) or visit the website for your local Rogers retail location on your computer or mobile device to load the virtual tour.
- Tackling TV: Would you skimp on sleep to catch just one more episode? If the answer is yes, your TV viewing habits are in line with 80 per cent of Canadians, according to our Rogers Innovation Report. We learned the longest viewing sessions average more than five hours on a weekday and almost seven hours on a weekend, and we took the opportunity to create a nifty interactive infographic to help you decode your TV persona, from “Marathon TV Viewer” to “Multiscreen Tasker.”
- Connected in the community: In June, Rogers announced a new initiative to help provide broadband Internet for youth and low-income Canadian families. Connected for Success, which launched with Toronto Community Housing, offers broadband internet for $9.99 a month, plus the option to purchase a computer loaded with software for $150, thanks to Microsoft Canada and Compugen. We also spoke with educator Neil Price about the importance of digital literacy and what the program could mean for students.
- Magazine buffet: Rogers launched the all-you-can-read digital magazine Next Issue Canada in October. Offering unlimited access to more than 100 Canadian and U.S. titles, we were excited to take it for a test-drive and chat with Next Issue Canada President Ken Whyte about what it means for readers and publishers.
- Rogers Youth Education Day: We took to Twitter and Facebook in September to ask you to share your #BrighterFuture stories about how education made a difference in your life. As part of Rogers Youth Education Day, we were able to donate mobile tech units to each of our 52 non-profit partners across the country – a $250,000 commitment! Thanks for joining the conversation and helping us give back!
- Digital shopping: Bulky wallets, be gone? In November, Rogers announced the launch of the suretap wallet, which lets shoppers make payments with a simple tap of their smartphone. Using the secure SIM card inside an NFC-enabled smartphone, suretap can be used at contactless payment terminals – the same kind that let you tap to pay with your credit card. For even more smartphone shopping power, we also launched Rogers Alerts, which, if you opt in, sends you location-based mobile offers via SMS.
- Tube talk: We hosted parenting expert Kathy Buckworth for a Twitter chat about how she manages screen time at home. She shared her top tips, and love of popcorn, in a noon-time chat that trended in Canada! It was also a chance to share details of the new Rogers Kids Zone, a secure children’s entertainment destination where families can enjoy kid’s TV shows and movies at home, on channel 200, or on the go with RogersAnyplaceTV.com/KidsZone on computers, and on the Rogers Anyplace TV application for smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360 gaming systems and LG Smart TVs.
- He shoots, he scores! We do love hockey at Rogers, and one of the most exciting bits of news we shared this year on RedBoard was announcing the NHL broadcast deal. The 12-year agreement, which starts with the 2014/15 season, includes national rights in all languages across TV broadcasts, internet and mobile streaming, as well as all linear and digital highlights including condensed games and video archives. The deal also includes a partnership with CBC for Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts and TVA for French-language coverage. We also started sponsoring the Edmonton Oilers and are excited to start construction on their new home, Rogers Place!
Happy New Year! What will you remember from 2013?
What will tech be like in the future? Many will speculate. Predictions will be made. Stock markets will rise and fall in anticipation. But, we’re here with the new Rogers Innovation Report to tell you what Canadians think is really going to go down.
Every year, we survey consumers across the country to reveal their imaginative predictions for technology and innovations for the years to come. The report shows there is a Device Generation – or what we like to call ‘Generation D’ – emerging in Canada. Gen D’ers have an optimistic POV on the future of technology, and live life through always on internet and connected devices. On average, 52 per cent have a smartphone or tablet that is loaded with 25 apps.
Some things about Gen D blew our minds: a quarter of Canadians think apps will allow people to communicate with pets in the next five years! Other findings excited us, like over half (59 per cent) expect their device to make dinner recommendations, create a grocery list and arrange delivery in the future.
Other notable discoveries included:
Canadian smartphone users spent practically every waking minute of 2013 using a smartphone (keeping it within reach on average for 70 per cent of the day). What were they doing?
- Thirty per cent viewed Mayor Rob Ford ranting on YouTube; 17 per cent watched Miley Cyrus twerk it to the top, and 15 per cent streamed entertainment on the go with smartphones and tablets.
- Canadians are glued to their devices; a quarter admitted to tweeting or Facebooking someone while in the same room and over half (52 per cent) confessed they’ve sneaked a peek at their phones during a date.
- TV remains at the heart of home with three quarters (75 per cent) of Canadians tuning in live in 2013.
- Out of fear of spotting TV plot spoilers, over 40 per cent of viewers avoided the web as we said goodbye to beloved meth-cooks and serial killers in the series finales of Breaking Bad and Dexter.
No, you won’t be driving a flying car in 2014, however; Canadians do expect to see some major technological innovations in the years to come.
Canadians envision a world where technology will unleash a connected reality
- Over a third (39 per cent) of Canadians believe virtual communication will replace face-to-face interactions and half (50 per cent) expect to chat exclusively through text, social media and email via smartphones in the next five years.
- Canadians expect the smartphones of 2019 will have retina scanners (53 per cent), built-in projectors (25 per cent), augmented reality (46 per cent) and 3D screens (33 per cent).
Cards and wallets are so yesterday
- Over half (61 per cent) of Canadians expect to throw out their physical wallets, replacing them with mobile wallets that include credit and debit cards and personal ID.
- Next year, nearly half (41 per cent) of respondents expect to tap with a mobile payment app.
- In the future, shopping in your pyjamas will be the norm, with half of respondents (50 per cent) expecting to spend more money shopping online than in physical stores.
Canadians want their smartphones to help them work smarter, not harder, in the future
- Over a third (39 per cent) expect apps to become their butler, to draw baths, cut the lawn, vacuum and even do their laundry.
- Over a third (39 per cent) believe apps will put together an outfit based on what’s in someone’s wardrobe, and 40 per cent think apps will detect knock off designs.
- A majority (84 per cent) believe that cars will anticipate accidents and provide weather alerts.
Future TV viewers expect to sit in the director’s chair
- Today we love Don Draper, and tomorrow we’ll look like him. The majority of Canadians (64 per cent) believe they will eventually purchase products directly from live programming.
- In the future, almost half (49 per cent) will take to social media to alter a show’s plot by voting in real-time.
- By 2019, over half (56 per cent) see the entire TV experience replicated on their phones. Sports fans also expect to catch the action in their hands, with 80 per cent believing any sports game will stream live on mobile.
This is just a selection of what Canadians are predicting for the future and how they used technology this past year. Check out the full report on Slideshare, click here for the full infographic or view our “Generation D is Here ” video here.
I’m looking forward to an even more connected 2014, where Gen D will continue to unleash the true potential of technology.
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We’re wrapping up a busy week with a lot of action in the tech sphere. Tweet is now officially a word, thanks to the Oxford English Dictionary, New York will soon see solar-powered charging stations and we’re still having fun with our research into Canadian video viewing habits. Plus, we launched our LTE Max network in even more cities. All that and more in this week’s edition of the weekend reading!
Tweet is the word
Twitter has made its mark on the Oxford English Dictionary: Tweet is now listed as both a noun and a verb. The social network’s term for posts and the act of sharing a message was added in June, along with big data, crowdsourcing, e-reader, mouseover, redirect and stream (verb). The Chief Editor, John Simpson, says “tweet” actually breaks the dictionary’s rule that a new word needs to be current for 10 years before it makes the cut – “but (tweet) seems to be catching on.” And, the Globe and Mail notes, Twitter actually has its roots in the dictionary – the founders landed on the name after reading a definition about short bursts of communication: “Twitter, A series of short, high-pitched calls or sounds; [mass noun] idle or ignorant talk.”
What other social media terms would you expect to see in the dictionary?
Charging on the go
While tweeting madly at the #SocialAtRogers conference Wednesday – where Rogers hosted great speakers from IBM, Dell, Hootsuite, Hailo, LinkedIn, McDonalds and more – I couldn’t help but panic as my battery meter dropped further and further into the red.
Now, the traditional plug in the wall might be a thing from the past. This week, our attention was drawn to alternative and innovative ways to juice up your gadgets, using sun and heat. We learned that soon, New Yorkers will be able to access 25 solar-powered charging stations for mobile devices, thanks to an experiment by AT&T. From New York we were transported deep into the woods. We learned about the BioLite CampStove, a portable wood-burning stove that can also charge your phone and save you from becoming a bear’s dinner. Even better, the same technology is used to bring clean, safe energy access to families across the developing world where people still cook over open fires daily. Pilot projects have launched in India and Sub-Saharan Africa.
LTE keeps on rolling
After rolling out our LTE Max network to Manitoba last week, we’re continuing to bring Canada’s fastest wireless internet to even more Canadians. On Monday, we launched our LTE Max network in Baie-Comeau and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., Medicine Hat, Alta., Portage la Prairie, Man., and expanded our coverage in the Hull region. We also expanded our LTE network to Grande Prairie, Alta.
We continue to launch in more cities as part of our commitment to expand to 44 new markets this spring. To learn more about our LTE offerings and the latest lineup of LTE-enabled devices visit RedBoard or www.rogers.com/LTE.
We did a deep dive into the video viewing habits of Canadians with our Rogers Innovation Report, released last week. We learned the average Canadian logs 22 hours of video per week, has viewing marathons that last up to 7.5 hours and often stays up past bedtime to squeeze in just one more episode. So what have we been doing with our newfound knowledge?
In addition to sharing our findings with you, we also turned it into a game with a live chat on Tuesday, with TV fan @Magnalicious winning the trivia crown – and a great prize pack. We also created an interactive infographic that helps you discover your TV viewing persona – from marathoner to casual viewer. Blogger @ChickyMara reported on the study earlier this week, sharing that she’s among the 80 per cent of women who control the remote! She also learned she’s “right up there with the most Marathon-y watchers of them all.” Find out your results here.
Whether you’re a marathon viewer watching back-to-back-to-back episodes or a second screen fiend, we want to hear about your video viewing habits. Join us here at noon (EDT) to discuss the findings from the latest Rogers Innovation Report and take part in a trivia contest for your chance to win a great prize, including The Walking Dead on DVD, a Community sweatshirt and goodies from City. (Read the full contest rules here).
Update, June 19, 4:45 p.m.: Congratulations to @Magnalicious, who won our trivia contest prize pack!
What kind of TV viewer are you? When it comes to my TV consumption habits, my friends would most likely describe a scenario akin to a bear in hibernation. I select the series I have been meaning to catch up on and hunker down, keeping snacks at a close proximity (no time to pause and grab food). My only major movement consists of pressing play from one episode to the next.
Cut to me last month: I got totally wrapped up in The Walking Dead. I would immerse myself in post-apocalyptic zombie territory for more than six hours at a time.
As you can probably deduce, I can be classified as a “marathon TV viewer.” And I’m in good company – more than 80 per cent of Canadians have watched three or more TV episodes or two movies back-to-back this year, according to the latest Rogers Innovation Report, released today.
More and more Canadians are watching consecutive TV shows and movies, with the longest viewing sessions averaging more than five hours on a weekday and almost seven hours on a weekend. But really, if the next episode is available on demand, how can you wait to continue the storyline?
When taking part in consecutive viewing sessions, half of Canadians are engrossed in action and drama, while six out of 10 are watching comedy. These viewers are taking their TV away from the comfort of the couch to the bedroom (over half) and the bathroom (one out of 10) and even to work (one out of 10). It turns out that Canadians treasure their viewing marathons more than sleep, too, with eight out of 10 staying up past bedtime to catch another episode, or more. And men are two times more likely than woman to show up late for work the next day due to a long viewing session.
Skipping sleep isn’t the only place the gender divide is obvious: men tend to participate in longer marathon viewing sessions than women, hitting up to 7.2 hours of continuous content on average versus 6.3 hours.
Nowadays, living rooms are sprawled with devices, so it comes as no surprise that the report shows an influx of “Multiscreen Taskers” – Canadians who combine TV viewing with multitasking. Seven out of 10 Canadians who own a smartphone, tablet or computer use of one these devices while watching television. They’re using these second screens to look up information online (over a third), monitor social media activity (one out of five) and text friends (one out of five). Those age 34 or under are more likely (nine out of 10) to use these screens to watch content, too.
In addition to zombies, when I’m marathoning TV, I’m glued to viewing vampires or the never-ending aristocratic Crawley family drama. What’s your TV show of choice when you’re in the mood to marathon?
Kaili is a regular contributor to RedBoard
It’s been another exciting week for mobile tech with the announcement and preview of the upcoming HTC One, plus we take a visual look at the last three decades of cell phones, speculation on smartphones overtaking traditional PC hardware, and mobile’s effect on business. All ahead in this week’s edition of Weekend Reading.
Hands on with the HTC One
This week HTC unveiled what is being hailed as one of the must-have devices for 2013 – the HTC One.
Earlier this week the device was showcased at an HTC event in New York City, where our friends at Connected Rogers were lucky enough to get a sneak peek. You can get all the details on the design, camera, and specs in their post here, plus a few other top industry sources including CNET, Network World, and iClarified (with video).
The HTC One will be available at Rogers this spring – stay tuned for more details!
Infographic: 3 decades of cell phones
Can you believe cell phones have been around for a whopping three decades already? It’s true! The Next Web posted a fantastic cell phone timeline infographic this week showcasing just how far cell phones have come over the last 31 years. A few personal faves from the infographic include the Dynatac 8000x (aka Zack Morris’ phone on Saved by the Bell), and my very own first cell phone, the Nokia 5110.
Which blast from the past makes you most appreciative of today’s tech? Alternately, is there anything you miss about them or see a comeback for?
Smartphones to replace PC’s?
After seeing how far smartphones have come, how long do you think it will be until they fulfill all our tech needs and take over completely?
Writer Eliot Van Buskirk provided some insight in his latest article for The Huffington Post. After accurately predicting the success of the iPod before others saw its value, he’s fairly certain that his hunch on hardware peripherals will be next. His article outlines six things that point to smartphones becoming “the center of our digital lives,” including tablet keyboards, and The Cloud. Check out the full post and let us know your own predictions in the comments below.
Adopting your business to 2013 mobile trends
It may only be the second month into the New Year, but analysts are already making predictions about the effects on mobile tech on businesses. The Telecom Blog explored various reports recently suggesting that a mobile transition is happening amazingly quickly and if your business isn’t quick to adapt to mobile trends as are their customers, it could represent some challenges for them in 2013. Now, how is this this reflected on Canadian soil? A quick example could be how mobile is changing television. Canadians don’t limit their tablet or smartphone usage to browsing the Web. Turns out mobile devices are also great for watching TV, and especially for watching shows on demand.
One of our recent Rogers Innovation Reports also suggested an increase in mobile trends, with 80% believing more people will be connected to the web via mobile devices than desktop computers in 2013. I’m definitely one of the 80% using my smartphone for everything I can these days because it’s so convenient! It’s always on me, has instant LTE internet access, and a world of apps at my disposal.
Is your business ahead of the game when it comes to mobile tech? If not, are you shifting your plans for 2013 in that direction? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to know where you’re at.
Kelly is a regular Redboard contributor.