Tech Articles

The iPhone 6 certainly bends and might even break!

-Originally published on Trend-Junky

September 19th, 2014 was a great day. The iPhones 6 and 6 Plus were released! The amazing new features include a new camera with improved focus, faster wireless Internet and fingerprint security. And that’s not all, the iPhone 6 also has the largest screen yet and the thinnest frame to date. But that may be where the potential problems lie.

Angry complaints and confusion have been brewing on several websites including Twitter and other forum sites from users who are claiming that their iPhones have either bent or partially broke after the phone was in their pockets.

The cause may be simple. The screen (which measures at 4.7 inches tall for the iPhone 6 and 5.5 inches for the iPhone 6 Plus screen) and the thickness of the phone (a minuscule 6.9 millimeters for the standard iPhone 6) is a potential recipe for disaster, especially when carried in smaller pockets or the pockets of tighter pants.

It is good to note that it is not probable that your phone will actually break in half simply from pocket pressure. Most bends seem to be occurring near the top of the iPhone, where the volume control buttons are located. This is apparently a pressure point where the frame is at its thinnest and most vulnerable.

The phone, which is constructed of a top-secret mix of solid aluminum alloys, is strong enough that when the phone does bend, it is unlikely that the actual screen will break. That’s the good news. The bad news is that even if you manage to bend it back, there may still remain a crease where the bend occurred and let’s face it, you’ll always know. Plus, in the cases where users did try to bend the phone back into shape, even greater damage sometimes occurred.

Although Apple has yet to make any type of statement about this issue, it is clear that there was not anything nefarious happening during the design phase. As a matter of fact, SquareTrade, a company that provides warranties for countless products, completed many tests with the phone, including dropping the phone, sliding it around and even submerging it in water. After completing almost every assessment other than a bending test, the company concluded that the new iPhones were “the most robust yet.” In addition, an unnamed insurance company also sang the phone’s praises, also claiming that the new iPhone is the most “robust ever.”

It is interesting to note that the new iPhone is not the first device to be scrutinized for potential bending issues. The new Sony Xperia phone has been known to bend, as has the large Galaxy Note 3 from Samsung. Before you run and get your receipt though, remember that these tests are made to push the limits of the phone and use much harsher testing than simply just walking around with the phone in your pocket.

So what can you do to keep your phone pristine and prevent these bending issues? Just be careful. With the much larger design, it is important to not house the phone in small pockets or pockets on tight pants, such as skinny jeans. Keeping your phone in your back pocket will also greatly increase the odds of bending the phone when you sit.

Additionally it may be a worthy idea to get a sturdy case for your iPhone as well. This issue has been known to occur with previous iPhones as well and in one case, Apple sent out free cases to those affected. It is unknown if the company will do that again.

This should not be a warning to ‘bend’ over backwards to avoid the iPhone as they are still a great product. With an incredible operating system, new fun apps and improved functionality, the new iPhone 6 is a sweet phone with a price tag that won’t break the bank.


Move beyond short-term Gamification

-Originally published on LinkedIn

Many large corporations utilize the gamification (the use of game thinking in non-game contexts) approach for their short-term projects, be it training programs, data equality or even physical exercise, usually with positive results. However, even though gamification methods have been more than proven over the years, it is possible to use gamification for long-term objectives as well.

For instance, retail giant Target introduced a gamified system into its checkout stations in an effort to improve the speed and productivity of any given cashier. Each customer checkout is rated on the register’s display screen with a Green/Yellow/Red rating system that indicates whether the cashier met their speed requirements for the current transaction. For each transaction that is completed, the screen continues to rate the transactions, displaying them all for the cashier. This form of gamification is not only helpful for the new hire but also beneficial for the long-term employee, as they will always be trying to beat their old score while actually providing quicker, more efficient service for the consumer in the process.

Another great example of gamification, which has yielded very long lasting results, is the “My Coke Rewards” program from the Coca-Cola Company. Launched in 2006, this type of gamification works on the idea that consumers who purchase coke products will also earn points which they can use to enter contests or “buy” items on the My Coke Rewards website. The wild popularity of the program has aided in higher profits for the company and this success has motivated the Coca-Cola Company to continue extending the program for the last five years.

The process of implementing long-term gamification in any organization can be achieved through strategy and thorough planning. After you have identified your success criteria it is essential to be sure that gamification is the right avenue for your business and your current initiative. If so, try creating a story and explain clearly the reason why employees or customers are earning points and keep the rules simple. Most importantly, test the program before releasing it into the wild.

Gamification can be a powerful tool, both for employees within an organization and when building a customer base outside of it. Although proven successful for short-term projects, it can be just as important if not more so when it comes to long-term goals. If right for your business, the process of gamification can be a real game changer.