Last evening my wife and I stopped at a local Chili’s for a bite to eat. As we were being seated, I noticed a small child (turns out she was 21 months) directly across from us watching videos on an iPhone. As my wife and I watched, we marveled at how this child would watch a video and then swipe to the next as the current show would finish. The thing that really astonished us however was the ease at which she switched to the home screen and then launched a spelling game once the last video was shown. That incident alone would have been enough to catch most anyone’s attention, but when I stood to go to the restroom, I was really taken-back by what I saw.
To my right was the 21 month old toddler thoroughly engaged with her mom’s iPhone. Directly in front of me was my wife checking movie times and watching movie clips on her iPhone. At the table directly behind my wife was a pre-teen immersed with her iPhone. At the table directly behind me were three late teen’s/early twenty-somethings all engaged with their respective iPhones. I thought to myself: “If there was ever a doubt about how the iPhone has changed the mobile landscape, this scene would put it to rest once and for all.”
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there is a revolution underway. It’s a revolution in how people get information and how they interact with the information. It’s a revolution in how they entertain themselves and how they define entertainment. It’s a revolution in how they communicate and how they interact with one another.
Having worked in the mobile/wireless industry for most of my career, I was both thrilled by what I was witnessing and a little scared at what I saw unfolding. As I surveyed the tables around me, I was struck by the fact that everyone was looking down – yes, looking at their phones and paying no attention to those around them. I consoled myself however with the thought that they must be on Facebook.
Yes, things are changing. For the digital signage industry it means people are going to be looking down. Think about it….