Smartphones: The Latest Innovations for the Year Ahead
It’s about that time of year when we start to look at the latest technologies in the smartphone industry as we look ahead to the New Year. From Star Wars-inspired design to high-definition video systems, here is an assortment of smartphones looking to vie for the No. 1 spot in next year’s list of innovative mobile technology.
The Limited Edition Droid R2-D2 will definitely be topping the holiday wish list of every geek and Star Wars fanatic. The smartphone comes equipped with a R2-D2 soundboard that offers the little robot’s phantasmal screeches. Or, impress fellow geeks with the Rebel Scanner app. Got some time to kill while waiting for Star Wars 3D to come out? The phone also comes with a collection of video clips of the beloved Artoo, along with animated wallpapers. ($349.99 plus $100 mail-in rebate)
The Nokia N8 is ideal for the tech savvy and allows users to create and edit high-definition video masterpieces with a 12 MP sensor and Carl Zeiss optics and share them with colleagues and family from their phone. It comes equipped for an HDMI connection so you can show off images, videos and music on compatible televisions and projection systems in digital 720p resolution. Another feature includes Dolby Digital Plus technology compatible with home theater systems to really blow your friends away. Voice-guided navigation is also standard on the phone and the Ovi Store offers thousands of apps, games and videos for more fun. ($549)
The G2 by HTC features the Android 2.2 OS and Google Voice Actions which allows you to send a text or email, listen to music, make a call, or surf the web with voice activation. This is the first smartphone specifically designed for T-Mobile’s new HSPA+ network, which covers 100 million Americans across the country and is the first smartphone to integrate Google Voice to transcribe voicemails to text. Currently, the phone is only offered through T-Mobile. ($199.99 with two-year T-Mobile contract)
The uber-sleek BlackBerry Torch 9800 is equipped with 8 GB of memory, an enhanced music player, 5 MP camera with flash, video recording, integration of social networks and RSS feeds in one view, nearly six hours of talk time before a battery recharge is needed, and so much more. ($199.99 with two-year contract)
Motorola and AT&T announced three new Android phones last month: the Bravo, the Flipout, and the Flipside. All three phones use Motorola’s MotoBlur overlay on top of Android 2.1, and all have 3 MP cameras and CrystalTalk Plus technology for cleaner voice quality. The Bravo and Flipside are the most conventional of the three styles. The Flipout is square with a screen that swivels up and away from the body of the phone to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. (Flipout: $79.99; Flipside: $99.99; Bravo: $129.99; all with a two-year contract)
The Sony Ericson Xperia X10 features a 4-inch touch screen, 8.1 MP camera, and music player on the 3G Android operating system. Timescape allows all communication to be integrated into one location and users can store music, photos and videos online or in the phone with Mediascape. ($349.99)
BACK TO THE FUTURE
While many manufacturers are creating user-friendly smartphone designs, those using the right sides of their brains have come up with some pretty modern designs for mobile phones. While the following are just design concepts, who knows if any of these designers will make the future’s list of innovative smartphones?
The Seabird, designed by Billy May of Mozilla Labs, conceptualized a phone with an 8 MP camera, wireless charging, mini USB, and a built-in removable Bluetooth headset that acts as an infrared tracking remote. An additional docking station uses the phone’s dual projections to cast a keyboard and computer screen for a truly “open web” mobile phone experience. You have to see the video to believe it.
The Nokia Kinetic was designed by student Jeremy Innes-Hopkins and features the phone’s unique ability to “stand up” when a call or text is received by “converting digital information into kinetic movement” due to an electromagnet shifting in weight.
Recycling at an ATM
Got a drawer full of old cell phones that are outdated and out of fashion? In order to eradicate eWaste, San Diego-based ecoATM gives money for old phones from their reverse vending machine of sorts. A consumer deposits an old mobile phone, which is valued, and dropped below into a storage unit. The user receives a coupon, gift card, cash, or can give the value as a a charitable donation. Check out the website for information and ATM locations.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.