Depending on your take, the latest developments for smartphones are either incredible or dipping into abuse of privacy. The Daily Mail reported on the new predictive technology recently.
Google and Apple and others are developing technology that will predict what you want to know before you ask! Yes we’ve reached that strange stage that seemed once to be the concept of fairytales or Sci-Fi.
These companies use information from how you use the Internet, your email and social media. Many think this is completely intrusive but others will find it amazing.
Your Own Personal Assistant
These Apps are called Personal Assistant Apps suggesting that they are helpful. The Apps gather all the information to predict things like delays on public transport or roads – depending on your general mode of transport. They can then suggest you need to leave early as there are problems.
Google’s App Google Now syncs the information from all the areas we mentioned to come up with the information you need when you need it! The more you use it, the better the predictions will get. For instance ask it to remind you to buy milk at the supermarket and it will – the very next time you enter one!
The Dark Sky App tells you what the weather is going to do. How? Simply by using GPS technology to locate where you are and analysing weather forecasts to make the prediction. As associate of Goldsmiths University of London’s creative and social technologies department confirms that he predicted rain 20 minutes before it arrived at a BBQ using this App.
Of course not everyone raves about this as we suggested. ‘Nick Pickles, of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Google isn’t doing this for our own good but for commercial reasons. It’s about taking away choice from users and pushing what they and their advertisers want.’’
Predicting when you need to take Special Care
Wouldn’t it be great if the Apps could predict when you need to take special care of your mobile phone? When you’re about to put it somewhere unsafe, or leave it in a vulnerable place?
These of course aren’t things you should need your mobile phone to tell you. We all know that we should keep our mobile phone close so that it doesn’t get taken by someone else. Always having a place where you keep it isn’t a bad thing either. If it isn’t in your usual pocket or your bag compartment, then it is time to panic.
Most mobile insurance policies stipulate that you must look after your smartphone responsibly at all times so that you don’t invalidate your policy, but we can all make mistakes. Losing our grip or dropping it on the floor so that the screen cracks for instance isn’t usually due to carelessness.
Being aware of how and where we use it can help to keep it and you safe. For instance in very busy areas, texting and calling can mean your smartphone is more prone to being snatched. Similarly coming out of a train station is a favourite place for phone snatchers too. If you are going to use it here, stand with your back to the wall so that you can see if anyone is approaching you.
So think before you use your smartphone in public. Who knows, one day it will be able to predict what is about to happen!
By Rob Rudd
Rob Rudd has spent a lot of time researching and writing about phones. He is a regular contributor to several technology websites and specialises in mobile phones.