In our increasingly high-tech world, we are becoming ever more reliant on our mobiles. Who would have thought 15-20 years ago that we would be living our lives so differently in 2017? Who expected how much our mobile phone would become the centre of our worlds?
Gone are the days where our houses and cars were full of CDs or cassettes and we would buy our favourite songs on singles or record them off the radio. We now download and play music through mobile devices with 45% of the music industry’s revenue coming from digital sales in 2015 according to IFPI. With services like Spotify, we don’t even have to purchase music anymore, while we can listen to it anywhere through our phones.
Physical books, magazines and newspapers have also seen amove to electronic devices where you can get filtered news into your inbox, alerts to your phone and celebrity gossip delivered through social media. Our love affair with books is still going strong, but the ebook market is growing with 12.3% of book sales worldwide being in digital format according to Statista.
Even our friendships and how we interact have been revolutionised. Gone are the days where we had pen pals, wrote letters and posted them. We now keep in touch with friends and family through the cyber world with social media and video calls like Skype and Facetime. Our lives are shared and commented on like never before in history and living anywhere in the world is no barrier anymore in staying in touch.
The way we purchase goods and services has also completely changed with internet sales rising year on year. 34% of people surveyed by PWC said that their mobile phone will become their main purchasing tool. Online security and safety have become important for consumers, leading services such as Paypal to make online purchasing more secure.
Alternative methods of paying for the goods and services have also emerged with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. The cryptocurrency depends on complicated algorithms and a sophisticated digital ledger called blockchain to provide consumers with increased safety and anonymity. Although Bitcoin is not tangible like traditional currencies, apps called “Bitcoin wallets” allow us to pay by Bitcoin in real-life stores. Already adopted by brands such as Microsoft, Expedia and WordPress, Bitcoin has also found an eager market in the form of the online casino industry. Not only can you play at online casinos with Bitcoin, but in fact, some casino providers have decided to base their entire product on the currency. BitCasino, for instance, allows users from all over the world, regardless of their locale, to have a level playing field thanks to Bitcoin.
But that is only a small way in which our internet-ready smartphones have changed gaming. Gamers are no longer just sat on their sofas, as mobile gaming has had gamers on their feet exploring the real world through augmented reality games like Pokémon Go. As virtual reality grows and mobile virtual reality handsets are developed further gaming is going to continue to evolve. Who knows how we will be playing games in the future?
Our electronic devices have shrunk and mobile phones have superseded the need for lots of devices. Who would have thought 20 years ago that we could have done so much through such a small device? With the evolution of cloud storage and a whole raft of apps available, mobile phones are not just for talking on anymore but organise our lives, entertaining us and capturing our world. Currently, 1.3 billion people use cloud storage according to Statista. This allows them to use their files from their mobiles and other devices, ultimately providing an opportunity to work and play on the go more than ever before. How our lives have evolved and who knows how we will be living in another 20 years’ time as technology continues to move into the realms that were once sci-fi stories.