At Qualcomm, we live and breathe mobile technology. We are acutely aware that it has transformed the way we live our lives and connect to the world around us. That is why we were thrilled to learn that TIME was devoting a special issue to wireless technology. The August 27th “Wireless Issue” featured the TIME Mobility Poll, conducted in cooperation with Qualcomm, which surveyed 5,000 people from the U.S, the U.K., China, India, South Korea, South Africa, Indonesia and Brazil about how mobile technology impacts their daily lives. The results were fascinating.
Eighty-four percent of people worldwide are unable to go a single day without using their mobile device. For young people, the mobile device plays an even stronger role in their lives; two-thirds of those between the ages of 25-to-29 years old check their phones at least every half-hour. Considering at least 9-in-10 people worldwide believe that wireless mobile technology is important to public safety, entrepreneurship and small business development, transportation, and military and defense, it is clear why we’re constantly connected.
To continue the conversation that the poll release generated, TIME decided to bring together industry experts to further examine the transformative power of mobile at “The Future of Mobility” forum, featuring: Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber; Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer; Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Judith McHale, former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; Rey Ramsey, President & Chief Executive Officer, TechNet and Matt Flannery, Co-Founder and CEO, KIVA. This exceptional group of individuals was gathered together at the Newseum in Washington D.C. to discuss how mobile devices are changing the world and affecting everything from business to healthcare, to parenting.
The overwhelming adoption of mobile technology has enabled companies like Uber, which provides on-demand private drivers though an application-based service, to flourish. Ten years ago, this would not have been possible. Ever since Uber first launched in 2010, improved technology has helped the company expand to over 17 cities across the U.S.
Mobile has also made it possible for Kiva, a non-profit microfinance organization, to use mobile payments to overcome barriers in Africa. Using mobile technology, a borrower can apply for a microloan and receive the funds electronically. In one example, a borrower used his phone to apply for a $60 loan to buy a wheelbarrow for his recycling effort based in one of Africa’s largest urban slums.
In empowering entrepreneurs like Kiva and Uber, mobile has helped our struggling economy. According to a TechNet study, the App economy is responsible for roughly 466,000 jobs in the United States since 20071. We also see mobile impacting public safety, in Pakistan where information is provided about potential terrorist attacks and in Haiti where people are warned about earthquakes. Communities around the world are empowered to keep citizens informed and promote a two way flow of information.