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Summary:

Attending Keith Urban’s concert in Philadelphia last night, my wife and I were lucky in our seat selection as near the end of the show, the country superstar serenaded our section. What was nearly everyone’s first reaction? Whip out the smartphone, take pics and get sharing!

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Attending Keith Urban’s concert in Philadelphia last night, my wife and I were lucky in our seat selection. Oh, we had marginal, average-priced tickets; near the back corner of the venue which had an end-stage set-up quite far away. But as the show neared conclusion, Keith carefully walked the entire length of the concert floor — flanked by security, of course — and walked up the steps near us where a temporary microphone rig magically appeared. For us it was the highlight of the night. It also shows how prominent camera-enabled, connected smartphones have become in the U.S., as nearly all of section 103 started snapping pictures.

Limited to the aging 5-megapixel shooter in my old Google Nexus One, most of the pictures I took are unusable. (Yes, I should have taken the myTouch 4G Slide!) But a few were good enough to share the experience. Thanks to the impressive Google+ Android app, all of my shots were uploaded in the background and I was able to quickly post a few during the moment. Aside from lacking picture quality though, folks on Google+ quickly noted all of the smartphones in the images. It seems like everyone was capturing memories, and I’m willing to bet that most were immediately doing as I was: Sharing those memories with friends around the world.

Whether you share on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, use a BlackBerry, iPhone or Android handset, it’s simply amazing to think about the smartphone’s rise to prominence in our culture over just the past few years. I saw my first Keith Urban concert before I had a smartphone although I remember trying to snap photos of him back then. I couldn’t share easily share the images, and to be honest, the fuzzy pictures weren’t worth sharing with anyone. But now? It’s actually part of our daily experiences thanks to superb image sensors, fast processors, smart software and mobile broadband.

  1. I’ve found it isn’t the number of pixels as much as the availability of optical image stabilization and adequate light. Of the two I’ve found adequate light is far more important. When shooting in low light the camera has to compensate by using a longer exposure time. When you get past 1/30 second hand held shooting becomes a challenge. You can check your exposure time on Google+ by inspecting your images. Google lets you flip your images over and on the back they provide the ability to inspect the EXIF data captured along with the image. See if your disappointing photos were shot down past 1/30 second. If they were, there are apps available that use the built in accelerometer to help stabilize image capture. THey don’t solve the problem completely but they let you get further past 1/30 and get less blur.

    The best visual sharing tablet I own is the Playbook, RIM built in some incredible sensors for capturing audio and video. The iPad 2 can do pretty well for video. I recently captured some public belly dancing (and the near riot around it) and shared it near real time with friends I was chatting with via Google+ and SMS. The real time aspect allowed my friends to comment and for me to respond: the blond is hot more of her please. :-)

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  2. This reminds me of that patent from Apple which will supposedly stop you from taking pictures or filming live concerts when you try to do it. I doubt they will ever do it, though. As you say in your post this has become way too common, and it would probably create a mega-backlash against Apple if they were to implement this. Still, I wonder why they even considered it.

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  3. This is along the same lines of a recent article that I wrote about convergence and what we can do now with one device that would have taken us a number of devices 10 years ago:

    http://www.carrypad.com/2011/07/08/the-wonder-of-mobile-a-look-at-software-services-and-devices-of-the-past-and-present/

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  4. And smartphones will only become more powerful and universal as time goes by. Check this article..http://anidea.com/innovation/one-device-to-rule-them-all/.

    I think it won’t be too long before smartphones are the only true device most of us will have. It will just be used in many different ways by plugging in or wirelessly connecting to other devices.

    What will the smartphone of 2020 do for us?

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