People are eagerly awaiting the next generation of mobile devices after the immense popularity of smartphones. However, instead of looking to the next generation of capabilities, maybe it is time for a closer look at the current hidden abilities of smartphones.
The ability to turn a smartphone into a digital scanner is a lifesaver when coming across a price tag that has so many “for sale” stickers it is hard to discern what it costs anymore, when there is a long line at the counter or stationed digital scanner, or when bothering the hard-working retail employees seems inappropriate. With apps, such as TurboScan, WorldCard, and Card Scan, smartphone users can scan credit cards, price tags, and scan and sync business cards. Companies have realized the efficiency possible with this type of technology and have adapted the way they market products.
Another example, movie theaters have posters that display the movies currently showing. Instead of waiting in line at the box office, customers can point their smartphones/scanners at the bar code underneath the movie they wish to see and purchase tickets right on their phone, effectively eliminating lines and waiting.
The possibilities for smartphones sometimes exceed the abilities of a computer. Some phones allow the user to utilize them as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot in which five to seven devices can connect to the Internet. There is an extra charge for this feature, usually $20-$30 per month, but the usefulness of this for people who are constantly traveling is undeniable.
Many Android and iPhones currently distributed have infrared blasters. In theory, the user can control any device that responds to infrared signals. Many phones have an app already installed on them which allows the user to control this ability. In addition, there are also many apps in the marketplace that enable the user to control their TV, radio, and computer.
The hidden abilities previously discussed for smartphones are possible with simply the phone itself. However lots of companies have developed equipment and software that really push the device to its full potential. Viper SmartStart allows smartphone users to do all the things a remote key can for a car and then some. After purchasing the technology ($149-$399), the user can start and stop their car remotely from a considerable distance, lock/unlock the vehicle, pop the trunk, check its safety status and its location if lost or stolen.
A device called Geode can turn smartphones into a digital replacements for wallets, improving convenience and security. Geode can convert gift cards, loyalty cards, and credit cards into digital information. Users can then select from their list of cards and choose the one they would like their Geode card to represent and swipe. Geode also released a specialized case where the selected card will have its bar code appear on the back to allow for a quicker scan. If someone is starting a new business then the Square Register is a necessity for smartphones. The Square Register turns smartphones into fully functional scanners to authorize credit card payments that can be used anywhere at anytime. Therefore, maybe it would be wiser to explore the current hidden abilities of smartphones, instead of placing urgency on the companies to develop new ones.
Opinion By Andres Loubriel