Have you ever really stopped to wonder what kind of data your smartphone (Android or iOS) device collects? Although you may use your phone as a communications device, many of us think of your phone as an incredible distributed sensor array. If one can combine that data with demographic and purchasing trend information the possibilities are endless. After reading this post and viewing the screenshots you will better understand why Amazon is willing to sell their Kindles at cost, and Apple, Google and Microsoft view it as imperative to be a big player in the mobile market through both phones and tablets. Data represents big money.
If you're interested in reading a more in depth study of the sensors in your mobile phone, read this post from the Mobile Device Insight Blog. My curiousity found me installing the free AndroSensor app. By running this app I can see all the data my smartphone is collecting at this very instant. If you've granted access to lots and lots of apps to collect data about you, consider thinking twice. My own smartphone collects this data:
- Location (GPS)
- Magnetic Field
- Sound Level
The sensors included in "smart" phones will only increase in the future.
Screenshots from my phone (click to view at full size).