Inevitably, this year has seen the release of some increasingly refined and powerful technology for our hands and pockets. The main players in the smartphone market: Samsung, LG and Apple, along with HTC and a reinvigorated Google have all again had to raise their games with the latest round of released flagship 2016 models. However, rather than dwell too much on Samsung’s Galaxy S7, Apple’s iPhone 7 or LG’s innovative G5 modular models – all of them amazing examples of cutting edge devices overflowing with features technical wizardry, there are 2 interesting trends that are potentially far more interesting from your average student’s perspective.
What is perhaps most striking is how the market is truly maturing with fewer ‘breakthrough’ features than in previous years. Retina displays, fingerprint reading, GPS… these features were all major breakthroughs in their time over the last decade, but we haven’t seen anything to the same leap-forward novelty for a couple of years now. On the cutting-edge technical front, progress seems to be far more iterative than major leap any more.
Instead, what is really remarkable in 2016 is how what was considered absolute cutting edge only couple of years ago is now available on some extremely affordable devices, putting super high-spec devices within reach of huge swathes of the population, including most of your students.. The implications for your students soon having sub-£100 high-spec’d supercomputers in their pockets are far-reaching and exciting. Samsung’s Galaxy J5 is a great example of this leap in accessibility. With 1.5GB of RAM, a 1280×720 screen, 13 Megapixel camera and huge battery life (beating the Galaxy S7 in fact), the fact that this highly capable phone is available SIM-free for £140 is astounding.
What high-spec smartphones affordable to everyone means there will soon be no students without access to their own personal super-computer and the implications of what this has the potential to do for education is enormous and arriving now.