May 16 2012

Smartphones Are Making Everyone a Real-Time Expert

Pew survey finds that smartphones are turning users into real-time problem solvers.

Having access to all of the information available on the Internet — in the palm of your hand — is making you a better problem solver, according to the Pew Internet & American Life project.

The research organization recently released a report documenting users’ real-time, information-based behaviors, and 35 percent of respondents said that they had used their smartphones to solve an unexpected problem in the past 30 days.

More important, for retailers and restaurants: Thirty percent of respondents said they used their phones to decide whether or not to visit a business. That’s a trend that many businesses can’t afford to ignore.

According to the Pew study, respondents put their smartphones to use in myriad ways:

  • 41 percent have coordinated a meeting or get-together.
  • 35 percent have solved an unexpected problem.
  • 27 percent have found information to settle an argument.
  • 23 percent have looked up the score of a sporting event.
  • 20 percent have searched for up-to-the-minute traffic or public transit info.
  • 19 percent have sought help in an emergency situation.

Guess our smartphones are called “smart” for a reason.

Has real-time access to information on your smartphone gotten you out of a bind?