Read & Respond week 6: Mobility

Here’s a vivid thought from @GeorgeBray on that everpresent device in your hand.

The concept of Mobile First is informing considerable mass media practice. One of the up-and-coming areas in mobility is wearable technology, and some newsrooms are looking for ways to incorporate it. Its poster child was once Google’s Glass, whose “failure” we’ve discussed in class.

Do you find this fascinating, or do you want to slap the guy? The company pulled the plug on Glass in early 2015, but it was one of the heralds of today’s Internet of Things, that network of stuff that tracks and communicates the details of our lives. Including things like FitBit and Amazon Echo, the IoT is steadily invading daily life (and it’s always listening). Take a look at this Motley Fool prediction piece for 2017 – it’s techy, so skim, but note the overall message: Businesses like IoT, so you’re only going to see more of it.

Naturally, there are naysayers to any new technology…

So how do you see wearable tech influencing the future of mobility? Be sure to post your response to Briggs and the readings as a comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 12.

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18 Responses to Read & Respond week 6: Mobility

  1. Cayla Nolder says:

    In hindsight, it’s important to remember that journalism comes first and technology comes second, as Briggs reminds us in the text. This is important to remember because getting wrapped up in the technology can distract from the story and the content should be the top priority. However, undeniably so, technology has given journalists a step in their game because of the instantaneous ability to connect to the internet via our cell phones.

    Microblogging a story or live blogging a story has become a popular way to distribute content quickly and reach large audiences. I would argue that by using microblogging or live blogging, journalists are able to reach a younger audience than they would have before using print. Also, with everyone having access to the same services mojo use, “you don’t need the resources of a big news company to connect with your mobile audience,” (Briggs, 2016).

    As for using wearable technology such as the google glasses, I think that google was right in pulling the plug. People who fear the technology will not want to purchase it or be around it so they would be unapproachable to a mojo using google glasses. Although the technology is innovative, since the spectrum of people for it or against it is split 50/50, it’s not going to be an effective mobility tactic. Maybe in the far in the future…when we’re dealing with some IRobot millennium, then that type of tech would be more accepted.

  2. According to our text, Briggs mentions how mobile technology has been a beneficial tool for journalists to use rather than spending hours at their desk, or carrying around a big backpack full of electronics such as a laptop, wireless internet card, a DSLR camera, a video camera, and audio recorder, and a mobile phone (Pg. 135).

    Because of our technology today, our cell phones can play the role of a laptop by providing the internet at the touch of our hands, and act as a camera, video camera, audio recorder and phone. Now that social media is huge in the journalism industry, LIVE streaming is super popular too, showing viewers what is happening at that exact moment rather than hours later.

    I do think wearable technology has its pros and cons. I think that FitBit is successful and serves a good purpose, but it is also a fab. If you have a smart phone, it can track everything your FitBit does however I do understand that a FitBit is of course smaller, and you wear it rather than storing it in your pocket where it can fall out and break or get lost. But, what do I think about something like Alexa? I would not purchase it because I would feel like something or someone is invading my privacy and listening or recording everything I say and do, especially with the hijacking issue going on in the Motley Fool’s article. I would feel like people would be able to hack into my Alexa and be able to see all of my information since it links to your smart phone. Same thing with the Google Glass…the parody video definitely made the technology seem super creepy!

    But, I do think technology will keep improving and new things will keep coming out. For example, within the next few years technology is going to be made available to athletes where a chip will be inserted into the athlete’s apparel and it will be able to record speed, distance, etc. That is interesting because it is like the FitBit where a technology device is tracking things like that, whereas Alexa and Google Glass just did what you told it to do rather than you doing it yourself.

  3. Today, journalists use mobile methods such as cell phones to tweet the news to followers. A lot of journalists are still required to be somewhat of a pack mule. They need to have a camera, tripod, laptop, video camera and more. Briggs suggests that if you must carry this gear be sure it can fit into a backpack.

    I think that wearable technology and its development can help to eliminate the need to worry if the gear will fit in a backpack and rid journalists of the bulky tech as they are required to travel for news and reporting. Wearable devices will be small and able to fit on a person’s body.

    Wearable technology in the future will make it easier to report news because if a journalist is wearing the gear they are capable of reporting live more frequently. Ideally, the gear will be on them at all times and easily accessible. This will allow for more timely news to be delivered to readers, viewers, etc.

    I am glad that tech like google glass was invented because it became a guide to inventors of the future. The pros and cons of google glass can now be digested to create better and more adaptable and accessible devices. I think wearable tech will make for a very interesting society and will help with more accurate and timely reporting.

  4. miaswanegan says:

    With going off of the online readings and the chapter in Briggs, it seems as though the main theme for this week is progression. We live in a world where technology is constantly changing and growing. The use of smart phones and smart watches are at an all new high and updates are constantly coming out. I will admit that once something new comes along, we are all for it but after a couple of months it is like we want more. So sometimes as the demands come, the technology can’t always keep up. When it can’t keep up, there are fails because not everything will succeed but once something fails, it also helps other things prosper in a way. Being able to do research on why things fail are what help newer technologies come out and avoid what when wrong previously.

  5. It’s amazing how technology has evolved over the past two decades. Though Google Glass never caught on, similar items will likely be relatively available in the near future.

    In the chapter, Brigg’s refers multiple times to the power of the mobile phone, and how that’s all “light packers” really need. We can now use them as a medium for microblogging, blogging, video streaming, and photo sharing.

    With wearable technology, you wouldn’t have to carry anything at all. Everything you need would be on your person. It would make it that much easier to report anytime and from anywhere. I have a feeling this day will come sooner than later.

    However, as Brigg’s pointed out, it’s important to use sound news judgement and that technology comes second.

  6. Haley says:

    Mobile first can be extremely important since we have our phones glued to us constantly. Sometimes when the wifi is out, LTE data coverage kicks in or we have our Apple watch on.

    Wearable technology is important to society as it is quickly evolving with new ideas and gadgets every day. Staying up-to-date on wearable technology as journalists is important because it can help certain aspects of our field. I understand why Google Glass didn’t catch on, and I thought that “Nobody likes a glasshole” was a humor-filled video. Maybe in the future we will have something similar to this that takes up less space and is more convenient.

    I like that Briggs explains although technology is vital to the future of our industry, journalism should come first. These gadgets and wearable technology can make life easier and more mobile for digital journalists, but it’s crucial to maintain credibility and sense as a journalist.

  7. Honestly, the Google Glass eyewear is a little bit over the top for me. I like the power of our technological advances but I almost feel like it was too soon which is why it didn’t turn into a hit! Obviously the Apple Watch was way more successful. Maybe that is because it is an Apple product. In my eyes, and in many others’, they can really do no wrong. Google has had a few failed projects but maybe this case is because, like I said, it is just too much too soon.

    Briggs mentions how all news organizations are making sure they are using the mobile frenzy to better reach their audience. I liked how he mentions there were two types of reporters on the go, a geared and a light packer. It’s funny because I definitely thought I was a light packer but I really am not. Although I don’t carry a video camera, tripod, microphone, or audio recorder around, I still carry my phone, laptop, iPad, camera (sometimes), etc. with me everywhere I go. It is kind of ridiculous now that I really look at it but it really is the way I can successfully get information out to my audience. Although I am not yet employed, running two business’ social media sites on top of my own is a timely task.

    I also found it interesting what Briggs said about Live Blogging: “the practice of covering an ongoing event with constant updates.” Of course, there are plenty of ways that companies can use this on their own website such as BuzzFeed and TheVerge, as Briggs mentioned. However, recently Facebook and Instagram have adapted to this idea and implemented it on their apps. It is very interesting how ideas start off with the big companies and make their way to mainstream.

  8. Ashley Conley says:

    I am a huge fan of mobile devices. I, like most everyone else, always have my cellphone with me. In the sports journalism industry, where I have most of my experience, cell phones are so handy. When reporting on a practice or media session, all I have to do is whip out my phone, snap a photo or grab some audio and instantly upload it to Twitter, Facebook, or a website in seconds. This makes life so much easier!

    As Briggs described in chapter four of Journalism NEXT, “mobile devices are like Swiss Army knives, arming anyone and potentially everyone with all-in-one media tools that can view, capture and publish or broadcast (pg. 137). These tools, like a cell phone or portable audio recorder, video camera and everything else in between, cut down on the load journalists have to carry and make it a lot quicker to get news, information and media out to the public. It’s just a simpler world with all this technology. Isn’t it nice?

    The Motley Fool piece about the IoT was intriguing. I personally own a FitBit device (and wear it every day) and an Echo Dot. These things are so interesting because they make it so easy to track my daily life. I can instantly track my steps and heart rate with the FitBit; I can know the weather forecast or find my nearest Burger King in a matter of seconds with the Dot. I’m kind of glad that we can expect to see more things like these in the future because they’re just nifty.

  9. Rebecca Toro says:

    It’s insane how much technology has evolved. It’s unfortunate that Google Glass did not blow up as planned. It’s like a virtual Siri. Personally, I feel that it could be distracting and I would run into something. Briggs Chapter 3 introduces new concepts. These concepts connect journalism to the internet such as crowdsourcing, open-source reporting, and pro-am journalism.It’s amazing how with a little help from reaching out to the internet, a huge story can be made.Getting another person’s voice can help increase the interest of a story, get another voice out there and this helps a reader not feel abused by the media. Open-Source as well is helpful to get audience feedback and their opinions. What I took for that is that we, as people are the news. We get opinions from our audience which makes a story and helps us as journalists.

  10. Clutter Mama says:

    From the articles and the reading, it seems like wearable technology aims to be the new smart phone by providing access to the things smart phones provide without having to carry it. Briggs points out that a journalist who is a “light packer” (p. 142) may only need to carry a smart phone instead of a laptop, portable hotspot, camera, video camera, tripod, audio recorder, headphones, microphone, and mobile phone. This makes travelling and keeping up with the action easier. Wearable technology may have the potential to increase efficiency in reporting, but regardless there is still at least one gadget, whether it’s a pair of glasses or a phone.
    Some medical developments using wearable technology actually make people more physically mobile. At the Wearable Technology Show 2016 in London, many of the latest wearable technologies are for medical purposes. On display inserts for shoes that send electronic impulses into someone’s feet to allow them to feel the ground better, so they can maintain balance and be more mobile. A great example of wearable technology at its best was the story of a gentleman who had a spinal cord injury and couldn’t feel his feet to walk. These inserts made it possible to feel the ground beneath his feet. (http://www.newsweek.com/quora-question-future-wearable-technology-489236).

  11. mglamastro says:

    Mobile technology, specifically smart phones and tablets, has been great for journalism in my opinion because it creates more of a demand and even more of an audience for certain publications. People who may not have picked up a physical newspaper or magazine are more inclined to read a lot of journalistic material on their phones.

    Social media, especially Twitter, comes in handy here. Most Millennials, at least the ones that I know, tend to get their news from Twitter. In fact, many online publications get more views on specific stories via social media links than they do via their home pages. It seems most major publications design their websites and stories/articles for mobile, rather than for desktop.

    On the other hand, journalists can also work more efficiently from mobile devices. Reputable sources (and some not-so-reputable sources) can live Tweet and/or live stream important events as they are happening. And, as Briggs states on pages 138-141, mobile devices allow journalists more Internet access, so that they may work remotely.

    FitBit, as the readings mention, is a great example of wearable mobile technology and the Internet of Things, and so is the Apple Watch. I believe both these wearables are much more successful than Google Glass because they are more portable and do not require as much attention. For example, one can wear an Apple Watch throughout the day, but he/she does not really have to focus on it if he/she needs to focus in class, at work, etc. When using the Google Glass, however, the wearer is distracted and cannot really move back and forth between the wearable and the “real world” as quickly as he/she can with the Apple Watch. Similarly, one would need a special case or place to put the glasses when not wearing them, whereas the same is not true for a watch, making the watch more portable.

  12. In the readings Briggs mentions the power of cell phones and how they give us access to a whole slew of things. In my opinion I think mobile phones are already essentially wearable technology and make the need for something like Google Glass unnecessary.

    As described in the reading, I feel as though I’m a light “packer journalist”. All I need is my phone and a pad and pencil. Something like the wearable tech such as google glass seems like a fad to me.

    I also think people are already consumed by technology in today’s society. At least when you’re on your phone you would still have to look away from it to respectfully engage someone. However with the addition of “wearable tech” I feel like it is getting easier for people to become less sociable and more engulfed in the distractions of today’s modern tech.

  13. Laura Andrea says:

    As mobility continues to become a priority our technology evolves to accommodate our new needs. It has become increasingly easier for gearheads to become light packers as the technologies become more advanced and compact. Even our phone nowadays serves as a reliable tool for recording video or audio or taking pictures in a pinch.

    Thinking again about Google Glass’s failure makes me wonder about the fate of similar technologies nowadays. Snapchat recently released its Snapchat Spectacles, which makes recording and uploading to Snapchat hands-free. As so much journalism continues to happen on social media, this seems like a tool that’s worth checking out for journalists, but I haven’t seen it happen.

    When looking at the sci-fi design of Google Glass vs stylish Snapchat Spectacles, you can easily see the difference in target markets for each product. However, that doesn’t mean that the Spectacles aren’t worth checking out for their attempts of making technology more user-friendly. It seems that as technology progresses in this direction its goal is to make us put our phones down and be able to record and experience at the same time.

  14. zamuhammad says:

    As technology continues to grow every day, we become more depend on it. For example, majority of the U.S has cellphones or any sort of technology. Cellphone have become so modern that every year new cell phones come out to do more and more things (GPS, computer, planner). Without our cellphones, we would be lost in my opinion.

    But, when cell phones first came out they were not as common to have. As you can see we’ve grown accustomed to them. Just like we will with wearable technology. As the advancement of wearable technology continues the popularity of it will grow, and just like cell phones, we will depend on that as well.

    A great example are smart watches! I, myself have a smart watch and use it all the time. If it is just to check my emails, counts my steps or just to look at the time. It is a lot more convenient than a cell phone during class time because I don’t have to pull my phone out. I can see who is calling, texting, and emailing me just by looking down at my wrist.

    When I first received my apple watch I did not use it because I thought it was so dumb. After getting use to it, I can not go a day without wearing it. I grew accustomed to looking down at my watch for notifications.

    Although the glasses may not be that popular, watches are a huge hit right now. And as you can see wearable technology will begin to become more and more popular as time goes on.

  15. Briggs acknowledged in this weeks readings the power of technology, and the responsibility that comes with technology as a journalist. It is important that as a journalist that technology should come second and we are journalist first.

    Technology has transformed the way that journalism operates. For journalist and even bloggers a phone could be all they need to report on something or send out a post. A phone could use apps such as Twitter or Periscope and become a live stream journalist at an event or tweet on going events on twitter. Phones have lead us to use social media at all times and journalist and even news outlets use twitter to update their readers with the most breaking news.

    The next big wave of technology will be wearable technology. While some ideas have failed like Google Glass, the future is still full of potential for these technologies. The Apple Watch and technology powered watches are currently the most popular. However I feel as if a Google Glass sort of device or a technology similar will emerge soon and be very beneficial to journalism. This will allow complete at the moment breaking news. It will be interesting to see the future of wearable technology.

  16. It’s funny that Briggs mentions reporters lugging around a backpack filled with their laptop, camera, recorder, etc., and how that can be avoided my carrying around a smart phone, because I’m used to carrying around my DSLR, recorder, lav mic and sometimes even my laptop when I go out looking for a story. Although, I often switch out the recorder and opt to record on my phone. I think some of the goes into preference. I prefer to take photos with my camera, rather than my phone, and I’ve had enough missing/ruined video mishaps to know to bring my laptop to shoots so that I can check the footage before I leave. However, I know that may not be an option in the field, for the sake of time.

    I do appreciate Briggs’ comment about mobile tech being the ultimate liberator for modern journalism. I think this goes back to what we read last week about social media and microblogging. Mobile tech has allowed journalists (and everyone!) to disseminate information unbelievably quickly. I know that I’ve had plenty of conversations with my grandmother that went about like this:

    “Did you hear about xxx?”
    “No, when did this happen?”
    “AP tweeted it a bit ago. It ought to be on the news tonight.”

    So, like a classmate said, mobile tech makes journalism work more efficiently.

    There’s something about wearables that makes everyone, or most everyone, want them. For instance, I want a FitBit, and I don’t even exercise (add that to the list of things I shouldn’t admit publicly). Sometimes I think everyday wearables, like the FitBit and smart watches, are just bought for the sake of buying them. It’s a neat thing to own, so people who have no need for the item may still be interesting in purchasing one. I think it’s the whole Internet of Things and having tech that is connected and multitasking.

    Part of me wants to say that people developing wearables should steer clear of eyewear, but VR headsets are pretty cool, and a great way to tell immersive stories…We just may not be ready for augmented reality eyewear.

  17. dshedrick says:

    There is no denying that technology is advancing every single day. This is a reality that affects everyone; for better, for instance, if you are a disabled person and the newly developed technology allows you to live your life more easily; or for worse, for instance, if you murdered someone and Alexa heard you. And ‘everyone’ might mean journalists more so than most.
    As Briggs explored in Chapter 4, the evolution of technology has resulted in journalists not having to lug around quite as much, considering their camera, video camera, voice recorder, speakers, laptop, mp3s, emails, and oh, yeah, their PHONES are all held together in one convenient, little device now. But, it has resulted in some changes that might be less than convenient, as well. Deadlines are now, NOW, as Briggs states. In some cases, this results in inaccurate or spotty journalism. It might always add stress, in that the world knows a journalist is always wired in, so there is no excuse to not be reporting a breaking story. And the overall shift has resulted in some unforeseen compatibility issues, as well.
    As one of the articles explored, websites are now being reverse engineered, created first for mobile devices and then being adapted to larger screens. I, personally, have definitely noticed websites that are structured this way on a laptop, and I am not a fan. Conversely, I also hate when I’m trying to pull something up on my phone and the website isn’t compatible with a smaller screen. I never really considered how much extra work would be required while having to make a functional website for two very different mediums. Although I now have somewhat of an appreciation for it, I still stubbornly want things to be beautifully accessible on both, and I think that is one of the challenges/requirements of today.
    Additionally, it seems like we really are getting to the top of the ‘bubble’ of technology, such as with the Google Glass and even the Apple Watch. Although the Google Glass was unveiled before it was ready, hence the “failure,” the Apple Watch was well-engineered and still did not do all that well. Anecdotally, I bought an Apple Watch, wore it probably three times a week for a little bit, and then it sat for a very long time until I traded it in for a MacBook at Best Buy. When I returned it, the associate said that this was not at all uncommon. It was one of those things that was very hyped, and everyone had to have it. Then they realized they never used it and took it back.
    I think this is a good representation of where technology should go. Developers need to make sure the technology is filling a niche that actually needs to be filled.

  18. […] by it, but do you know how to use it as a blogger? As a journalist? As we discussed in our Mobility week, we’re increasingly devoted to technologies that track our movements, habits, and preferences, […]

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