“Catch you later” signs off the daughter, waving, “hope you liked the gift I got you, else I can return it. Also, did you check out my outfits that I wore to the party the other day? ” she asks her mother.
This could well be a conversation between any mother and child in the comfort of their own home, face to face with each other. Or it could even be one happening across continents, where technology and mobile device applications are aiding in making it seem real. The chat could well be had over Skype, which allows conversations to take place face to face while Instagram might be updating each other on the daily happenings and precious moments via photographs. And shopping and gifting could easily be done via one of the numerous e-commerce shopping sites that provide services across the globe and easy returns too.
The world seems to have gotten smaller and the lines between the virtual and real world have rapidly blurred into each other. And we have the advancing technology as well as our smartphones to thank for bridging the gap between the real and the virtual world.
The age of apps
Gone are the days when mobile devices merely served as means of communication. They have fast surpassed that role and are now the flag bearers of advancing technological innovations. The significant progress has especially been in the development of mobile phone applications which are bringing the world at our fingertips.
Let’s elaborate and view how mobile phone applications have changed our world, definitely for the better.
How apps are changing the way we do things
Virtual banking and e-wallets
New applications have now helped make the smartphone into an e-wallet thus helping you make payments and carry out transactions on the go. These apps provide the easy of storing money on the them and carrying out various transactions, such as paying for appliances, goods, products, groceries all purchased online, making bill payments, or booking tickets for concerts, shows or movies beforehand and making payments for the same. This has helped manage money better as you can keep track of your spending and transactions made without having to recollect where and when did you spend. The process of maintaining records for spending has thus turned virtual.
Banking too can be effortlessly carried out in the convenience of your selected surrounding rather than visiting a bank in person and queuing up for your turn at the counter. Making transactions, like transferring money from and to accounts as well as paying bills, can easily be done via these apps. And the increase in the number of banking apps assisting in these tasks is proof of its popularity.
Tracking devices and activities
Another real world activity that has seamlessly been carried out by phone applications is to track physical activity as you move around. Move aside personal trainers and gym coaches, as the mobile phone has taken over the duty owing to the new applications.
Earlier, phones just acted as alarm clocks. But, now they can keep track of when you slept, how many hours did you sleep, the number of times you were physically active in the day, the number of steps taken in the entire day, the calories burnt, the heart rate at any given time, and even the nutritional stat of the entire day calculating the calories consumed, even breaking it down to carbs, proteins and fats.
All of this just with the aid of a single application is another befitting example of how technology has blurred the lines between the real and the virtual.
Another example of tracking is to find the exact location of your near one’s through the location tracking app and to be secure in the knowledge that they are safe.
E-commerce sites and shopping applications
Stores and shops of the brick and mortar kinds are being given a run for their money as e-commerce shopping applications are fast taking their place, thus shoving the actual shops aside. Any and every imaginable item can now be purchased at your own ease and convenience without having to waste fuel traveling to and fro or even moving from one store to another.
If shopping from e-sites and apps is passe according to you, then you can go ahead and experience the latest offering which simulates the exact experience of you trying out clothes and preening in front of the mirror, but in a virtual environment. With progress in technologies you can now upload an image of yourself and see how the outfit will look on you from various angles. Can it get more realistic than this?
Newer advances and headways
With technologies, such as ‘mobile visual search’ or MVS, you can even take an image and search for that exact item, locate it or purchase it.
Looking forward to your favorite band’s next show? Take a picture of its poster and find out when they are performing next through MVS and even book tickets. Or like that lamp or piece of furniture at someone’s house? Take a picture and you can see where you can purchase it. Easy peasy?
Apart from this, simulation technology and skeuomorphism help you simulate activities on your smartphone exactly how you would in the real world. For instance, learn to play the guitar by pulling the strings on your phone just how you would on a real one.
Mobile applications are quietly but effectively changing the way we do things such that the difference between the real and the virtual is diminishing slowly but steady. New technologies and trends are being developed every other day. Businesses and enterprises too are all embracing these advances and very soon it will be such that we won’t even remember how apps are a part of our daily life and routine functioning, something without which we will not be able to function without.
So, cheers to mobile apps and their befitting presence.