By July 1, 2014

How Social Media Shaped Cell Phone Design

shutterstock_180921581In 1984, “The Brick” started the cell phone revolution—even with its bulky size and cost. Eventually the phone evolved into a sleek design with capabilities beyond the vision of the original designers of the mobile phone. In the last 30 years, cell phones have been updated from bricks to flip phones to the iconic iPhone. But phones weren’t the only thing that was changing. We were also revolutionizing the way we communicate with each other. Innovative social media platforms available on cell phones have enabled us to connect in a different ways. Designers have to continually keep up with the trends, so who knows where we will end up 30 years from now. Here are just a few ways that cell phones have advanced:

Increased Camera Capabilities

Social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, who boast a base of 26 million and 200 million users respectively, have forced companies to release phones with enhanced camera capabilities.

Selfie was without a doubt the biggest word of the year. People would take photos using their front-facing cameras and call it a selfie. Even though Sony Ericsson first introduced the front facing camera in 2003 with the Z1010, it wasn’t until Apple released the iPhone 4 that the phenomenon really took off. Now, virtually all smartphones include a front-facing camera so users can take selfies at the Grammy’s, on top of the Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, or take selfies at the gym.

Sprint’s PM8920 released the first camera phone, featuring a 1.3-megapixel camera. This number is dwarfed in comparison to what we have today. The iPhone features an 8-megapixel camera, the Sony Xperia contains 13-Megapixel camera and the Nokia Lumia 1020 has an astounding 41-megapixel camera. The increase allows users to take higher quality pictures to share with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Phone buyers are now cognizant of the camera quality in smartphones and often account for that in their purchasing decision. Even more amazingly, these phones are a fraction of the price they were in the ’80s and they are widely available from the major service providers.

Enhanced Video Recording

Smartphones are also equipped with the latest video technology. The best smartphones have the capability to shoot at a high frame rate. The amount of frames per second (fps) is the amount of unique images created in a second, thus raising the quality of the video. The Mobile Choice Awards named the HTC One the Best Video Phone of 2013 because it shoots at a remarkable 30 fps, allowing users to create videos mimicking the quality of Hollywood films. The newest technologies also work to regulate light so your shots have the optimum brightness.

YouTube, Instagram and Vine also are responsible for the advancement in video capability for smartphones. People love to share their experiences on video through their social media networks. Whether it’s capturing a child’s first step or recording your favorite band’s set, you will want to record it to share with your followers. Beyond sharing intimate, family moments there is a growing amount of people making money from their smartphone videos. Some Youtubers and Viners are even making a living off their creative aptitude, and they will continue to push for further video capturing innovations.

Keyboard Design

Cell phone manufacturers have had to alter device designs to keep up with all the different types of messaging and status updates. Innovative keyboard design all started with the immensely popular Sidekick, which featured a slide out keyboard that allowed users to easily text their BFFs. The BlackBerry has also been at the forefront of keyboard design because of their easy layout, which has sustained a dedicated base of users. Nowadays, touch screen keyboards are king as it allows users to quickly enter their status updates. There are even swipe keyboards that allow users to type faster than ever.

Posted in: Editorial, Phones

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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