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Mobile, Social Media, and Wearables

November 19, 2012  |  Written by Ken Kajikawa

We all know that the growth of the mobile market is huge and constantly changing how we interact in our everyday lives. But what are the real numbers?

Worldwide, there are 6 billion mobile subscribers (87% of the world's population) and 1.2 billion people access the web from their smartphones.

  • In the US, there are 119 million smartphone owners with 48.7% powered by the Android OS and 19.0% powered by Apple iOS.
  • In the US, there are 47.5 million tablet owners with 52% powered by Apple iOS and 48% powered by the Android OS.
  • In the US, of the 245.2 million internet users (78.3% of the US population), 25% are mobile only.

With the millions of mobile devices in the marketplace, what are the destinations people are going to?  Here is a quick sample:

  • Facebook: 1 billion users with 600 million mobile users
  • Youtube: 4 billion view per day
  • Twitter: 500 million total users with 400 million tweets per day
  • Gmail: 287 million users (Hotmail 286m and Yahoo mail 281m)
  • Skype: 280 million users with 40 million Skype sessions per day
  • Machinima: 253 million users
  • LinkedIn: 175 million users
  • Pandora: 175 million users
  • Instagram: 100 million users with 5 million photos per day
  • Dropbox: 100 million users
  • PlayStation Network: 90 million
  • Steam: 50 million users
  • XBOX Live: 40 million users
  • The Weather Channel: 30 million users
  • Netflix: 30 million users
  • Twitch.tv: 23 million users

In October 2012, Twitter acquired Vine, a video sharing company, and is expected to soon launch a new service.  It will soon be amazing to tweet and share video.  While I enjoy viewing news videos and sports highlights on my smartphones (iOS and Android), I prefer to watch these short videos on my tablet, MacBook, or triple-screen Win8 desktop.  However, digital media is about to all change in a few months; not years.

There is a new wave of wearable computing glasses that allow you to view digital content as if you're looking at a large screen - an experience similar to looking at a 20" to 60" screen.  Wearable computing is defined as always on, always ready, always accessible, that allows you to perform ordinary and extraordinary tasks.  This new generation of wearables is sexy, lightweight, has high performance, and works well with current apps and services.

In June 2012, Google announced Project Glass, a $1,500 heads up display (HUD) with a video camera for augmented reality (AR) and wearable computing.  Available in 2014.  The demo was incredible.  However, assuming I can afford to buy these glasses at $1,500, how do I replace $1,500 glasses if one of my kids breaks it?  I won't.

In August 2012, there was an extremely well done Google Study that shares some great insight into the trend of how people in the U.S. are using a combination of smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs to consume digital content in today’s multi-screen environment.  What's weird is Google didn't include wearables given their announcement about Project Glass in June. 

Instead of Google's Project Glass, I look to companies like Vuzix, who have been in the wearable computing and eyewear business for over 10 years, to lead the way for more innovative and consumer friendly products at a more affordable price point ($200-$500).  In November 2012, Vuzix announced their M100 Smart Glasses - the world’s first enhanced hands free display and communications system for on-the-go data access from your smartphone and the Internet. The M100 contains a virtual display with integrated camera, running Android OS, wirelessly connects via Bluetooth, and powerful enough to run video games.  Also, the M100 is the winner of two awards including "Best of Innovation" at the upcoming 2013 Consumer Electronics Show and is available Q1 2013.

The next wave of wearable computing devices - glasses, watches, fitness gizmos, medical monitoring, etc. - is here now.  What's fun is anticipating the new applications, services, destinations, and augmented reality.  Whatever the future of digital media may be - mobile, social, and/or wearable - all need good infrastructure and good connectivity to meet consumer expectations and deliver a great user experience.

Ken Kajikawa
General Manager - Digital Media
Telx
kkajikawa@telx.com  |  Twitter: @kenkajikawa