Tech & The District » Mobile Phones Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 Mobile Apps Continue to Advance Downfield – But Where is the Endzone? Mon, 18 Oct 2010 22:00:09 +0000 Andrew Cuneo I remember my sophomore year of college, I purchased my first cell phone – a real clunker. It didn’t have applications, internet capability or even text messaging. Heck, it could barely handle voice calls! I wasn’t unique in that regard however. Many of my friends had similar devices which, as told to me later by my salesman, were stand-ins provided to customers while their “real phones” were being repaired.

To quote the great Bob Dylan: “The times, they are a-changin’.” The mobile landscape is much different now than it was that day 11 years ago. The latest change comes courtesy  of, which Tuesday announced the launch of 190 free mobile applications for 95 NCAA colleges and universities on Android and Blackberry smartphones. These applications will provide college sports fans (myself included), who own a Blackberry or iPhone, the ability to follow their teams from their mobile device.  That means accessing video content, live scores and stats and breaking sports news. I wonder if my old clunker could do this?

It’s a terrific feature – one I will certainly sign up for as a Blackberry owner myself. But what really strikes me is how the mobile landscape really has been altered. In the late 90’s, it was the Palm Pilot, marketed towards corporate executives, that drove us into a spot where we are now.  Blackberries were also marketed toward that demographic – high level executives who needed a device to give them flexibility to be mobile and stay connected.

Today, from high school students to 50-somethings, smartphones are changing the way we all communicate. A neighbor of mine just bought his middle school-age son an iPhone. My 68 year-old aunt owns one too. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who either doesn’t have one, or doesn’t know someone with a smartphone.

Eleven years ago, when I stepped out of the retail store, I never thought any of this would be possible. I never believed reading the morning sports page could be as easy as typing eight characters (e-s-p-n-.-c-o-m).  I imagine I’ll be having the same conversation with myself 11 years from now.  What do you think will happen in the mobile industry over the next decade? Take time to ponder that question while I check today’s scores.

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Social Media Breakfast.. Nom Nom Mon, 12 Apr 2010 22:40:52 +0000 Lauren Wilson

This morning I attended the monthly breakfast series for Social Media Club DC at Bus Boys and Poets. On the panel was Jill Foster, founding editor of Women Grow Business and co-founder of DC Media Makers; Yong Lee, consultant for the Social Media Club Education Connection (SMEC) and Frank Gruber, co-founder of TECH cocktail and co-producer of Digital Capital Week. At this session we of course covered the basics: Twitter as a powerful medium to connect people and how to convince unlikely settings to adapt to social networks.

What I particularly found interesting and new was Yong Lee’s discussion on using social media in higher education as a form of learning. Social Media Club Education Connection is working with various institutions to create higher education curriculums based on the growing changes in this field. SMEC is a national initiative with the goal of uniting educators, students, and professionals to further the development of social media curriculum in schools and prepare students for the workforce. I learned that Edmodo is a new tool that serves as your “Twitter” for the classroom. It was interesting to hear where these social networks were actually trying to expand.

There are several companies that are working to bridge mobile technology and social networks for learning. Qualcomm, a leader in mobile technology, is one company that is working to position smartphones as a significant learning device for the classroom through its Wireless Reach program. Through Wireless Reach, Qualcomm launched Project K-Nect, a two-year pilot program that works to improve math skills among at-risk ninth-grade students in North Carolina using advanced wireless technology. Project K-nect resulted in the enhanced learning and comprehension of these students in the classroom. Maybe one day teachers will be convinced that many social media tools serve as resources and forms of learning rather than distractions.

I look forward to the next event!

Disclosure: Qualcomm is a Hill & Knowlton client.

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