Smartphones in Non-Traditional Places

Connecting everywhere from airplanes to the sports field.

By on August 1, 2013

There are a few places, like hospitals and planes, where we expect to either silence or power down our smartphones. But, the times are changing.

A hospital in Canada recently lifted its cell phone ban and many airlines now provide passengers options for a Wi-Fi connection for smartphones and tablets when flying. Emirates airlines expanded its options a step further and now allows passengers to chat on their phones in-flight.

Smartphones are so integrated into everyday life that they are appearing in even the most unexpected places. At last summer’s Olympic opening ceremonies, athletes turned the tables on the spectators and media by capturing the spectacle on their devices. More recently, the smartphone was used by participants during two major sporting events to capture critical information.

While tennis matches are not historically known for wireless technology, a smartphone took center stage at the French Open, when Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky pulled out his smartphone to take a picture of a disputed line call. Even in the high-speed world of NASCAR, driver Kyle Busch used his phone to take pictures of damage to his car to send them immediately to his pit crew after a nylon rope cable from a television skycam fell on the track.

Smartphone accessories are helping consumers expand where they use their smartphone. Equipped with waterproof cases, users can dive into the deep end with their devices in hand. Armbands like Ampphibx and LIFEPROOF even allow swimmers to reap the many benefits of listening to music while exercising that runners and bikers have been experiencing for years.