For the first time ever there are more gadgets in the world than there are people, including a growing number that only communicate with other machines, according to data from digital analysts at GSMA Intelligence.
The number of active mobile devices and human beings crossed over somewhere around the 7.19 billion mark.
Gadgets like tablets, smartphones and not-so-smart phones are multiplying five times faster than we are, with our population growing at a rate of about two people per second, or 1.2% annually.
"No other technology has impacted us like the mobile phone. It's the fastest growing manmade phenomenon ever -- from zero to 7.2 billion in three decades," said Kevin Kimberlin, Chairman of Spencer Trask & Co.
11 best mobile phone accessories
11 best mobile phone accessories
1/11 Goo.ey Phone Case
Goo.ey cases don’t feel sticky but imperceptible suckers mean they’ll stick to any gloss smooth surface – handy for a video call or watching a movie while you shave, perhaps. It also means you can take a selfie without one arm stretching out of view to the phone, if your phone camera has a timer. When the stickiness dwindles, wiping with a damp cloth restores it. Goo.ey cases are light and look fantastic, too. Available for Apple, HTC, Samsung and BlackBerry devices. From £15, gooeyskins.com
2/11 SanDisk Ultra MicroSD Card
Many smartphones have expandable storage so you can add extra music, video, apps and so on. If yours does, it’ll be a microSD card. For £14 you can add 32GB of capacity with a card like this, it works up much cheaper than having to fork out for a higher-capacity phone. £13.99, amazon.co.uk
3/11 Mophie Space Pack
This gadget clads an iPhone 5s in a protective case, and has a built-in battery to save you from Dead iPhone Syndrome. Even better, it has memory built in. Choose from 16GB or 32GB of storage. This means that if you’re running low of storage space on the iPhone you can use the free Space app to save stuff to the Mophie extra storage and reducing your demands on your iPhone’s precious capacity. £129.99, expansys.com
4/11 Philips In.Sight HD M120G
The In.Sight is a wireless monitor: a camera that records in 720p high-definition quality is linked to your wi-fi network. You can see what the camera sees via your smartphone. It can see in the dark and when it senses motion it sends an alert. A microphone and speaker on board mean you can hear what’s going on and speak to reassure a child, or scare a burglar witless! £129.95, johnlewis.com
5/11 Monster Superstar Bluetooth Speaker
This speaker is slim and small enough to slip into a jacket pocket or bag and take with you wherever you and your phone go. It connects wirelessly to the phone via Bluetooth and sounds louder and bassier than the size would suggest. A built-in microphone means you can also use it as a hands-free speakerphone, though music is more fun, obviously. £99.95, johnlewis.com
6/11 Belkin Lego Builder iPhone case
Sure, it looks like it’s made of Lego bricks, which is cool enough. Even better: it is. The case uses an official base plate as its back so you can stick Lego bricks to it to create something unique, if a little less pocket-fitting. Great for a child, or the child in you. £24.99, belkin.com
7/11 Sennheiser CX300-II Headphones
Chances are the earbuds that came with your phone are pretty basic. Upgrade your audio effectively with in-ear cans like these which are as lightweight as the supplied ones but offer more bass, increased clarity and more. There are adapters to suit differently sized ears and they fit comfortably. There’s a volume control on the headphone cable so you don’t have to pull your phone out of your pocket. £29.95, amazon.co.uk
8/11 Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 Printer
Miss the days of physical printed photos? Well, this clever device lets you select your favourite snaps from your phone and print them wirelessly as retro-looking, credit card-sized pics. The setup’s simple; you download the free app (for IOS and Android) and select pictures from your camera roll or Facebook or Instagram. Choose from two filters and different photo settings – you can annotate pictures, for example - press print and your snap will be out in a matter of seconds. We found it idiot-proof to use, though stick to the app’s own filters for the sharpest snaps. Comes with 20 shots and costs around £15 per two packs of 10. £137.85, amazon.co.uk
9/11 TVman Pocket Mobile TV Hotspot
Mobile phones are good for watching TV, thanks to the fast data speeds of 4G. But if you’re not in a strong signal area, the TVman lets you watch live TV on your phone from Freeview channels. It’s a Freeview hotspot with a memory card slot to record programmes if you buy a microSD card. And the battery is powerful enough to recharge your phone at the same time. £59.99, maplin.co.uk
10/11 Netatmo Urban Weather Station
Check the weather before you step outside. The Netatmo comes with two weather stations (one for indoors, one for out) and transmits a bunch of data to your Apple or Android smartphone. The sensors measure temperature, humidity, biometric pressure and more. The indoor module measures air quality and CO2 levels. £139, amazon.co.uk
11/11 Just Mobile Gum++ Gold
Portable batteries to pep up your mobile when it’s flagging are highly useful. And they don’t come any better looking than this. It’s clad in aluminium and colour-coded to match the gold, silver or grey iPhone 5s. It’s powerful – it can charge a smartphone three times, so we reckon is worth the extra cash. £62.45, amazon.co.uk
Kimberlin’s company was an early investor in Millicom, a startup that alongside Facebook and Internet.org is working towards establishing mobile connections in the developing world.
Leonard Gubar, Director of Millicom, called the mobile phone “miraculous.”
The firm pointed out that these figures, whatever they say about the proliferation of handheld technology, should be contextualised.
It’s not that every person in the world has a mobile device, far from it; more than half of the population don’t have a mobile phone.
Although this suggests that a fair few people in the developed world are using more than one Sim card, the GSMA’s data does also take into account the growing number of gadgets connecting exclusively with other machines like cars, and smart metres.
There are around 250 million machine-to-machine connections, according to CNET.
That may only be a fraction of the total number of mobile connections, but it was enough to knock us people off our perch in the man vs machine superiority stakes.iPhone 7 live blog: Latest news from Apple special event Reuse content