Ubiquitous Access A Growing Trend In Cell Phones

Cell phones truly have become an ubiquitous object. They are almost everywhere. (Ubiquitous comes from the Latin ubique which means everywhere.) Even small children now have cell phones, which they use to call and send messages to, and receive messages from, their parents, brothers, sisters and friends. Cell phones are in cities, they are also in farms. They are with riders of bikes, motor bikes, cars, buses, ships and planes.

What many do not fully realize is that cell phones have also provided increasing ubiquitous access to data whether for information or entertainment. It has contributed to the first of the Three Mega Technology Trends in the 2010s—Ubiquitous Access—as predicted by Gartner, Inc., an information technology research and advisory firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. The other two Mega Technology Trends are Smart Objects and Ambient Intelligence, and Semantic Connectivity.

From Stationary Studios to Cameras Everywhere

To get a clearer impact of the ubiquitous access provided to us by cell phones, consider the imaging technology. Before, in the 1950s when we wanted to get a picture of ourselves, we had to go to a photographer’s studio. Then in the following years the portable camera became a favorite. At first the ones who used this had to know how to adjust the amount and speed of light coming into the negative of the camera. Then came the automatic cameras, where you just aim and shoot and which anybody who had good eyesight and steady hands could use. But now with cell phones that have cameras, this has changed. Cameras are almost everywhere through these cell phones.

Movies and Music Anytime, Anywhere

A more recent and more advanced example is in the movie industry. Before, even up to the 1980s when we wanted to see a movie we had to go to a movie theater, where the movies where scheduled ahead of time. If we wanted to see the movie from the beginning we had to wait for the time of the movie to begin as posted in its schedule. Then through the tapes, then VCDs and DVDs we brought the movies to our homes. But now with the accessibility of movies through our cell phones we can virtually have a movie anywhere and anytime we want, as long as there are the proper frequencies supplying the data to our cell phones. With the iPhone we can now see movies and videos in iPhone playable format, movies that are optimized, made for iPhone.

The examples can go on and on.

The factors that made the cell phone ubiquitous are its size, weight, price, and capability.

Size and Weight

From the cumbersome 9 x 5 x 1.75 inches of the Motorola Dyna-Tac of Martin Cooper in 1973 the cell phone has downsized to 4 x 1.5 x .5 inches or smaller than this. We can carry it anywhere now and no one seems to notice it. Its weight has gone from 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms) to less than 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Even a one-year old child can handle it.

Price and Capability

Its price has plummeted from 3,995 dollars to 10 dollars. From the two basic capabilities of using it for talking and listening the cell phone has now a multitude of capabilities: we can also use it to write, send and receive messages, do mathematical calculations, organize our schedule with its calendar and time, play games, take pictures and videos, connect to the Internet, send and receive email, send and receive fax, write in its notepad, listen to its radio and music, view videos, television programs and movies, access money through it, get health information, help to enforce laws, find one’s direction, buy and sell articles and even real estates, record names and addresses, download ebooks, listen to audio books, do school work, etc. It seems there is no end.

According to the website Trends in Cell Phones (, “we have barely seen the tip of the iceberg as indicated by the steady stream of increasingly sophisticated multimedia handsets, services, content and accessories.”

Cell phones have gone everywhere, and data through cell phones can be accessed everywhere. It has become indeed an object of Ubiquitous Access, the first of the three Mega Technology Trends in the 2010s.

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