Monday, October 17, 2011

A Day In The Life Of a Smart Phone

This weekend I took a little time off. Yesterday I was invited by my brother-in-law to play a round of golf. On Saturday I attended a football game at the local high school stadium. Although I grew up in the City, my children attended this school so I spent a lot of time there, in particular supporting the music program. For years after my children were off to college I continued to help with the school drama program and marching band. I've attended many of the Broadway shows, football games and competitions over the years and so it was a little like coming home for me too.

During the course of the afternoon at the stadium I took the opportunity to video record two promos or commercials for the KOMU TV News show U_News @ 4 I've written about. I had the cheerleader squad make the U sign and chant, "U News at 4 starts now." I recorded the band doing the same in full uniform including their fancy shakos with plume. After reviewing a couple of takes, the best ones were uploaded and sent off to the people at the station for review and final edit. They'll air sometime this week.

I stayed around for the half time show to see everyone perform. As the band marched on to the field I started a live stream of the show to my Bambuser channel on the internet. The show lasts a little over eight minutes so I was able to broadcast the entire performance and I know a dozen or so people watched it. More watched a replay.

Throughout the first half, I was able to keep up with messages from two email accounts and accept one phone call. I showed a few friends some recent photos of my family. Occasionally I scanned my Twitter feed and Facebook for postings, replying to one or two of them. My 'friends' knew I was there because I "checked in" using Foursquare which has been wired to automatically Tweet (on my personal Twitter account) and post to my Facebook status. Just before I left I ran into an old friend who recently changed jobs. I already had him in my address book which allowed me to quickly edit in his new information, or I would have scanned his business card to add him.

By now you must be wondering (or have figured out) my story is about the incredible power and versatility of the single device I used to do all of these things. My smart phone, an HTC EVO running Android, was the only piece of equipment I had with me and it fits comfortably into my shirt pocket.

My first cell phone, way back in the 90's, was a GE model that could make a wireless phone call. It was three times the size and weight, cost way more and did not fit in my pocket. It didn't do anything else.

In addition to being a video camera, my current smart phone has replaced my navigation system, providing verbal, tun by turn directions based on GPS. It is a music player. It provides access to the internet, handles all forms of communication including voice, video, chat, email and text. It provides access to all of the social networks, my stock portfolio and popular video games. It is a digital address book, day planner, electronic wallet and keeps my golf score. It can identify what song is playing and even act as a flashlight. With a footprint smaller than a 3 X 5 index card it is truly amazing how much functionality has been crammed into this one device.

By the way, our football team delivered a stunning victory with a final score of 28 to 8. My golf score, on the other hand, was not so impressive.

Captain Joe

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