Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Teenagers: Voice without video is just so adult

I remember when my parents used to force me to make telephone calls to people that I didn't know so that I would learn the fine art of cold-calling. I was painfully shy in elementary school, and this was no simple feat.

I also remember falling asleep on the phone some nights, after sneaking upstairs to call friends after bed-time.

Lately, I've been wondering how today's children will get by in the workplace when they have to start calling business partners, customers and other colleagues.

Consider a survey released in early January by Ericsson ConsumerLab. The study, which touched 2,000 participants between the ages of 13 and 17, found that the younger teenagers didn't care that much whether or not their mobile phone had voice features. They consider "voice" to be a feature that adults care about.

Mind you, teenagers definitely want smartphones. That suggests that when they aren't texting they are chatting via video sessions. They like face-to-face, not voice-to-voice.

Definitely something to consider for the future of workplace collaboration. Maybe not a consideration for next year, but maybe 10 years from now?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tablet as babysitter or play date?

Research firm Nielsen has released some data suggesting that almost 70 percent of the children under the age of 12 who live in a tablet computer-owning household get their hands on that technology on a regular basis. That was a 9 percent increase over the previous quarter.

The survey, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, found that about 77 percent of the children who were using tablets were downloading and playing games, while 57 percent were using them for educational apps. Hopefully at some point those two numbers will be closer to parity.

Parents apparently also are using tablets to keep children quiet in the car or in public settings. Approximately 55 percent of them have encourage their kids to use tablets on road trips (no more "are we there yet"?) while 41 percent have slipped their child a tablet while in a restaurant.

How do you let your children use your or their tablet?