Do you develop ‘fear of missing out’ if your internet suddenly stops working? If so, you wouldn’t be alone – as many as 62 per cent of Brits feel anxious if they can’t get online, as revealed in a new survey which has explored our relationship with the web.
Our emotional connection to the Internet appears to be all-consuming and particularly in the young - as 37 per cent of 15-35 year-olds admitted that they spend six or more hours on the internet each day.
The report, entitled ‘Connected World II’ and compiled by India-based telecoms firm Tata Communications, asked 1,770 web users in the UK about their habits.
Thirteen per cent of respondents said they couldn’t go an hour without going online, despite half not really understanding how the internet works – while 5 per cent of the youth category said they couldn’t handle being disconnected for even 15 minutes.
Wearable technology has been hailed as the future of electronics, however just 15 per cent of Britons are excited by the industry, with consumers looking forward to smart cities (17 per cent) and the ability to download at light speeds (35 per cent) more.
Google Glass: Everything you need to know
Google Glass: Everything you need to know
Think of Glass as having a smartphone on your face. You control it either using voice commands (eg, 'Okay Glass, directions to British Museum') or the touch panel on the right arm (eg, swipe down to go back in any menu). It can shoot video and photos without connecting to the internet but you need to connect to the web via a smartphone or Wi-Fi to use apps (dubbed 'Glassware). Google hopes it's the future (ie you'll be using Google all the time), others think it's just too geeky or creepy to ever take off.
Glass is about as powerful as a mid-range smartphone with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of memory slotted into the right arm of the frame. The prism-style screen has a resolution of 640 by 360 and sound is conveyed either by a bone conduction speaker (using vibrations into your skull) or using an earphone. The camera has a five-megapixel resolution and can shoot video at 720p. There's also a proximity sensor to turn it on automatically when picked up. Engineers have estimated that the innards cost around £100 with Google's R&D accounting for the rest of the cost.
3/6 Glass in the UK
Anyone in the UK over 18 and with £1000 burning a hole in their pocket can buy Glass. It's available online or through Google's London 'Basecamp' - essentially a fitting station to give you an introduction to the technology (that's the LA one on the left, expect London's to be less sunny). Glass has launched with five apps (known as 'Glasware' in the UK) including a running 'audio game', a star map and a news app from The Guardian.
The location of Glass's screen in the top right of users' vision has led to complaints of headaches. Experts say that the display is in one of the least comfortable areas of humans' field of vision (early prototypes put the screen directly in front of the ye but was too obstructive), although Google says that its only a problem for a small number of users: “Glass is designed for micro-interactions, not for staring into the screen, watching Friday night movie marathons or reading War and Peace.”
Google has been keen to market Glass as a fashionable product, placing the device on catwalks and between the covers of Vogue. The company has partnered with Luxottica (owner of the Ray-Ban brand) as well as designer Diane von Fürstenberg to make special frames. Google's own designs are known as the Titanium Series (left) with perscription lenses costing extra. However, this association with the catwalk has done nothing to shake the criticism that Glass - and its price tag - are elitist.
6/6 Using Glass
Google has partnered with everyone from doctors to engineers to show how Glass can be useful - essentially by helping people in high-pressure professions who need hands-free access to information on the spot. However, this isn't an argument for Glass becoming a consumer product. Advocates of Glass say that it takes away a layer between technology and peoples' lives - and while this may be useful some of the time it's hardly a killer application. Besides, having to make a conscious decision to look at our smartphones may actually help us look at them less. If there's no separation between reality and tech, why would ever put the latter away?
Tata spoke to a total of 9,417 people from six countries – Singapore, India, Germany, France, the UK and the USA.
Britain came second to Germany in the belief that the Internet belongs to everyone (72 per cent) while smart cities are seen as an important goal for Britons (17 per cent) more than it is for our European counterparts in France (10 per cent) and Germany (seven per cent).
“The internet has truly changed the way we function,” Julie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing Officer of Tata Communications, says.
“As technologies evolve and adapt, there is a huge potential for the internet to affect different aspects of life, economy and society.
“The use of these technologies will continue to expand in unexpected ways, and organisations will need to continuously explore, adapt and embrace new digital realities to thrive in.”Reuse content