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Do people really need to watch movies on their smartphones in the bath?

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This one argues that we are becoming dangerously obsessive about bowing and scraping before the altar of the Almighty Smartphone, praising its versatility and worshipping its revolutionising powers over our lifestyles.

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Only last month, a piece by Yahoo’s Julian Gavaghan claimed that people didn’t have any idea of what their smartphones can really do. Under the title 10 things you didn’t know your phone could do, he said that 30 million smartphones are used in the UK now are being under-used by people who just do not understand their app capabilities.
You can:

  • match paint colours through an app by a photo of what you have up already;
  • use the device as a spirit level when putting up shelves;
  • unlock your car and start the ignition remotely;
  • measure anything including buildings; design a dream room; picture a virtual dream room; monitor your heart beat; change TV channels; turn on light switches and even change coloured lights and record TV shows remotely.

Most smartphone users are hardly going to find these suggestions full of ‘wow‘ factor, but you never know. If somebody can’t even change TV channels or turn the lights off in their houses, they may welcome a phone app catalogue that will soon be telling them when to go to the toilet.

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15-year Battery

A new step forward in combatting energy-thirsty batteries comes with the launch of the SpareOne Plus mobile phone from XPAL Power. It runs on one single AA battery which should give 10 hours of talk time and is a ‘spare’ phone for emergencies as it calls the emergency services via GPS tracker without so much as a SIM card.

It’s a kind of portable insurance like an RAC membership card for drivers, easily packed for journeys. They say the simple no-frills keypad is suited to older users who often experience difficulty using small keys.

Amazon is selling them at around £50. And best of all, it comes with a battery!

Now, to cap it all, comes news that Sony, in a rather desperate ‘sink or swim’ survival gambit to recover lost ground in the competitive smartphone market, are launching a waterproof handset. All well and good.

The Xperia Z will allegedly withstand up to thirty minutes in three feet of water, will work in the shower and ‘survive a dunking in the toilet’. That’s quite sensible.

It’s on Android, has a 5in 1080p high-definition screen, a quad core processor and 13-megapixel camera all with one touch connectivity. It is likely to retail at a pricey £400 though competition from operators may cut that.

Sony hope to emulate Samsung and Apple by getting their punters to get into the ‘ecosystem’ of services and devices all working ‘seamlessly together inside the home and out’.

Alright, Sony have a right to try to carve a niche in a big market, even if it is doomed in the long run. But an unspecified job person from within Sony called Steve Walker was quoted as saying; “If you want to sit in the bath and watch an HD movie, this is the device for you!’ Come on, is that for real? Watching a movie in a bath on a phone?

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Maybe some people need to get out more. Do you agree?

You ought also to see:

Yahoo News, Julian Gavaghan, 7 January 2013

The SpareOne

Wired, Nathan Olivarez-Giles, 9 January 2013, Sony waterproof phones

How the Appy New Year Fills the Void Left by Christmas Now Past, 30 December 2012

50 Ways to Use a Smartphone, 8 August 2012

Bathroom Image: Deror avi