Ottawa Citizen

At­tached to your cell­phone?

Two-thirds of Cana­di­ans afraid to be out of con­tact, poll sug­gests

- MISTY HAR­RIS

“Nurse, give me two mil­ligrams of lo­razepam, stat! This man has lost his cell­phone!”

Based on a na­tion­wide sur­vey gaug­ing Cana­di­ans’ re­la­tion­ship with their phones, tech ex­perts pre­dict the New Year will be fraught with “no­mo­pho­bia” — the fear of be­ing out of mo­bile con­tact.

Re­sponses from 1,040 peo­ple re­vealed that 65 per cent of smart­phone and tablet own­ers feel “naked” when they don’t have their de­vice; 46 sleep with their smart­phone next to them while an­other five per cent keep it in the bed; and 55 per cent check it be­fore they even brush their teeth in the morn­ing.

“The mo­bile de­vice has be­come an es­sen­tial piece of a per­son’s life,” says Reade Bar­ber, vice-pres­i­dent of mo­bile and fixed In­ter­net at Rogers Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“That 82 per cent of peo­ple are us­ing their smart­phone in the bath­room tells you just how im­por­tant it is to stay con­nected.”

The find­ings are show­cased in a new report in which Cana­di­ans’ fore­casts for ev­ery­thing from In­ter­net TV to telecom­mut­ing are re­vealed.

Chief among the trends in the tea leaves is In­ter­net en­ter­tain­ment, with the past year hav­ing seen 52 per cent of Cana­di­ans in­crease the amount of TV and movies they watched on­line.

Men were nearly twice as likely as women to do this — a find­ing Bar­ber at­tributes to the over-rep­re­sen­ta­tion of sports apps on mo­bile de­vices.

“Cana­di­ans, on av­er­age, have 4.5 con­nected de­vices in their house­hold,” says Bar­ber.

“And over the next five years, the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple we sur­veyed — about 65 per cent — ex­pect to have seam­less con­nec­tions that al­low them to go room to room with­out miss­ing a sec­ond of a TV show, movie or game.”

Linked to that be­lief is the gen­eral trend to­ward in­te­gra­tion, as demon­strated by “tech­nol­ogy ecosys­tems” such as Win­dows 8.

Fully 82 per cent of those sur­veyed felt 2013 would see more sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ships be­tween de­vices (say, a Mac desk­top com­mu­ni­cat­ing wire­lessly with an iPhone).

Work­ing from home is also ex­pected to in­crease, with 59 per cent of Cana­di­ans be­liev­ing that cloud ser­vices, com­bined with faster mo­bile net­works, will en­able bet­ter pro­duc­tiv­ity and ul­ti­mately more telecom­mut­ing.

An­other pro­jected shift is in mo­bile pay­ments, which in 2012 were only used by roughly one in 10 peo­ple.

Within two years, Cana­di­ans pre­dict that this type of trans­ac­tion — paying for a pur­chase with a smart­phone, for in­stance — will reach crit­i­cal mass.

E-read­ing is also top of mind for the fu­ture. Rogers finds nearly eight in 10 peo­ple think sales of dig­i­tal books will sky­rocket in 2013, while roughly the same pro­por­tion ex­pect mag­a­zine-read­ing will con­tinue its mi­gra­tion from pa­per to screen.

“It could be on a phone, it could be on an e-reader, or it could be on a tablet,” says Bar­ber. “There are so many de­vice choices that (this trend) is ex­plod­ing.”

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