Personal Digital Devices

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 08-03-13 18:59

Uses of digital devices


  • Text (SMS)
  • Social networking sites
  • Instant messaging
  • Media messages (MMS)
  • Voice/video calls
  • Emails


  • Playing games on consoles or computers
  • Listening/downloading to music
  • taking/watching videos and photos


  • GPS
  • Geotag images
  • Track the location of cars
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Using Digital Devices

Designing Digital Devicesm - Audience and purpose

  • Teenager - Internet
  • Business person - qwerty keyboard
  • old person - large screen


Factors to consider

  • Connectivity
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Storage capacity/memory
  • convenience - weight, size
  • Compatability with other devices
  • Internet speed
  • Purpose - gaming, music, films
  • Cost
  • Battery
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Common Features


  • Controls all the functions of the device
  • Specialist microprocessors for different devices

Internal Memory

  • Microprocessor stores program instructions on internal memory

1 Byte

1 Kilobyte = 1000 bytes

1 Megabyte = 1000 kilobytes

1 Gigabyte = 1000 megabytes

1 terabyte = 1000 gigabytes

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Common Features 2

Digitial Devices = Storage Devices

Digital devices also contain components that can store data

Computers contain high capacity hard disk drives. Tend not to be used in portable devices - easily broken, moving parts

Flash Memory

Type of peripheral - ideal for portable devices

  • no moving parts
  • Can be removed 
  • Transfers data


  • SD Card
  • USB flash drive
  • SDXC/SDHC card
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Input and output devices

Three types - peripheral, storage devices, input devices

Output: See, hear info after being processed

Input Devices:   Output Devices:

  • Mouse - Speakers (peripheral or built in)
  • Keyboard - Docking Station (audio or to charge)
  • Game Controller - Headphones
  • Webcam - Printer (produce hard copy)
  • Touch screen - Head set (microphone, headphones)
  • Microphone - Screen
  • Joystick
  • Graphics tablet
  • Scanner
  • Touch sensitive jog dial
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Data Cable Connection

  • Most common = USB cable
  • media players, phones connet to computer


  • Technology allowing devices to communicate wirelessly
  • Short distances using radio waves
  • Modern devices have bluetooth or bluetooth dongle can be attached to a computer as a peripheral 
  • Can be used to connect devices to peripherals (printers, speakers)


  • Wireless communication using radio waves
  • Communicate over long distances
  • Most modern devices have it
  • Allows devices to connect to the internet
  • Allows devices to connect to Wi-Fi enabled peripherals (printers, speakers, scanners)
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Connectivity 2


When two devices, e.g. media player and computer, are connected they can automatically exchange data.

Cloud Synchronisation

Wi-Fi enabled devices can store all their data files (music, videos) on a remote server. So the user can access their files from all their devices.

iCloud automatically downloads files to all ur devices if you download something on the one 

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Mobile Phones 1

Core functions 

  • Originally designed so you can make a call when you are 'on the move'
  • Later, using number keys people were able to send texts using SMS

Multifunctional mobile phones (Smart Phones)

  • Camera/video camera - video calls
  • Internet browsing - stream music and videos
  • GPS receiver - Pin point position on a map, Get local information, Navigational device
  • Entertainment - Play music/Videos, Play games
  • Productivity - Learning, financial management, entertainment and travel apps boost productivity and save time
  • Data storage - store photos/music/video, removeable storage (e.g. SD Card) allows easy transfer
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Mobile Phones 2


  • Hide
  • PIN/password/biometric lock
  • Lock the SIM card
  • Record the unique IMEI number - mobile service can lock the phone using this number
  • Restrict Bluetooth usage - 'Bluejacking' is when people send annoying messages to those with their Bluetooth on

Responsible Use

  • Dont use mobile phones when driving
  • Recycle old phones
  • Dont take someones photo without their permission
  • Dont overuse - you could get RSI
  • Dont send bullying messages
  • Dont use a mobile phone in quiet places
  • Dont walk when using a mobile phone - more likely to be in an accident
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Mobile Phones 3

When choosing a phone:

Who is it for? - teenager, business person, older person, partially sighted person

What will they use it for? - Entertainment, business, both

What peripherals do they want to use? - Docking station, hands-free kit, Bluetooth or WiFi speakers

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Personal Computers 1

1) Desktop Computer

  • Need input and output peripherals - monitor, mouse, speakers
  • Have Hard disk drives and optical drives - e.g. CD/DVD drives and storage devices
  • Powerful processors
  • Good Connectivity (USB, FireWire, HDMI)
  • Can have Bluetooth and WiFi cards fitted for wireless communication
  • Easy to upgrade and enhance by adding extra functions

2) Laptop Computers

  • Battery powered or can use electrical supply
  • Monitor, pointing device, webcam built in
  • Hard disk drives and optical drives e.g. CD/DVD drives, SD slots
  • Bluetooth and WiFi built in
  • Good connectivity (USB, FireWire, HDMI)
  • Less easy to dismantle and upgrade
  • Notebooks are similar but even more compact
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Personal Computers 2

3) Netbook Computers

  • Very strong and robust
  • Built-in monitor and keyboard
  • Boot up very quickly - used immediately
  • WiFi built in
  • No hard disk or optical drives
  • Solid state SD cards as storage devices - less likely to be broken if dropped and use less power
  • Designed for using the internet and 'cloud' computing

4) Tablet Computers

  • Very light and portable
  • Battery powered
  • Virtual, on-screen keyboard
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G for wireless communication
  • Cameras for still and moving images
  • Designed for playing media, internet use and reading ebooks
  • Can download and run apps as on mobile phones
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Which computer to buy?

  • Processor speed - quick = fast computer
  • Sound/graphics card - allows you to see/hear graphics, videos, games, music
  • WiFi - form part of a network
  • RAM - lots will allow the computer to support more applications
  • Storage capacity - larger = store more files
  • Number of USB ports - peripherals use USB connection
  • Battery life - less frequent charging

Ergonomics is the science of designing equipment so that it is comfortable and user-friendly (can prevent RSI)

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Health Risks

  • Eye Strain
    • Looking at the screen for too long
    • Sunlight/artificial light shining on monitor
      • Take regular breaks away from the screen
      • Adjust the screen
      • Use an antiglare screen
  • RSI
    • performing repeated actions, e.g. clicking the mouse
      • Use wrist rests to support your hands
      • take breaks from repeating actions
  • Sore neck, back, knees, legs
    • Sitting in the wrong position 
    • Sitting in the same position for a long time
      • Change the height of the screen/chair
      • Adjust the lumabr support
      • Move the computer further away or closer
      • Adjust chair height so feet are flat on the floor, or use a foot rest
      • Take regular breaks to stretch your legs
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Cameras and camcorders 1

  • Zoom using optical or digital zoom
  • View videos or photos on an LCD screen
  • Store files with SD and micro SD cards
  • Crop and edit files using inbuilt softwares
  • View files on TV using USB and HDMI ports
  • Download files to a computer using USB or Bluetooth
  • Take photos, record sound and HD videos

Resolution. Photos are made up of pixels The more pixels the larger the file

Digital Zoom: enlarges part of the image so can become blurred

Optical zoom: moves the lens closer so the light from the subject is brought to a focus on the sensor

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Cameras and camcorder functions

GPS Receiver - coordinates stored in metadata - users can see exactly where the photo was taken

WiFi - Can email photos, upload them onto online albums, social networking sites without downloading photos to a computer

Personal Camcorders =

  • small
  • high specification
  • cheap
  • high definition 
  • WiFi to upload 
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Media Player Features

Key Features

  • Small, light, easy to carry
  • Solid state memory so songs dont skip when jolted
  • Long battery life
  • Holds a lot of media
  • Can set playlists
  • Lock to prevent activation
  • Simple interfaces e.g. jog wheel

Media File Formats

Most compress the file so it can be stored on the device but this affects the quality

    • Audio: MP3, WMA
    • Still Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG
    • Video: MPEG-4, WMV
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Security Features

  • Encrypts data to prevent other people accessing it
  • Backup feautes allows the user to backup their data on a computer
  • Hides Bluetooth/wireless sharing to stop users accessing files on the device
  • Remote management (deactivation) which allows you to deactivate the device remotely if stolen
  • Antivirus software
  • Hard reset feauture allows users to delete all the data if selling/disposing
  • Locks automatically after a certain period of time to prevent accidental or unauthorised use
  • Reactivates when correct password or biometric authentication e.g. fingerprint is entered 
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Media Players

Digital Rights Management (DRM): A software to prevent you from copying audio/video files and transferring to other digital devices. To protect the copyright holder by preventing illegal copying.


  • Wireless transfer using - WiFi, Bluetooth, Infrared
  • HDMI port - allows users to view HD movies on TV through HDMI cable
  • USB port - allows transfer of files at up to 5GB per second

Downloading and Streaming Videos

  • Advantage: 
    • Saves time. Dont have to wait as long to to play it. Plays as loads
    • Uses less storage space
  • Disadvantage:
    • Cannot keep a local copy for viewing offline
    • Limited availability 
    • User experience independent on connection quality
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Games Console Features

  • CD,DVD and Blu-ray optical drives
  • Capable of multi-player online gaming
  • Connectivity - USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ethernet network cable
  • High resolution output for high definition games

Peripherals - Wireless controllers, Wireless headsets, Hard drive transfer cable, Webcam/speaker/microphone set, motion sensors, High definition

Wireless and hands free gaming - Wii and Playstation 3 have motion sensor for game control, Xbox Kinect has hands-free gaming (infrared works out what it a person and what is furniture)

Current developments - Smart TV (have internet connection to have online interactive media and on-demand film and game streaming), smartphones and tablets (wired and wireless HDMI connectivity so you can play games on HD television)

Further developments - Controlling a game using thought only and an iPhone app that allows users wearing a neuro headset to move and control objects on the screen using thought.

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risks of playing on game consoles

  • Overuse injuries
    • Pressing buttons can lead to RSI, especially thumbs
      • Set sensible time limits, frequent breaks,  dont use the same controller all the time
  • Obesity
    • amount of time gaming and obesity have a link
      • set sensible time limits, physical activities when not playing
  • Muscle and joint problems
    • hours in the same position has impacts on posture and spine
      • regular breaks, adjust furniture to suit height, use ergonomic chair if possible
  • Eye strain
    • Eyes become fatigued when focused on the same distance point for long periods
      • Adjust screen for contrast and brightness, move furniture so light doesnt shine on screen, take 'gaze' breaks
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Signs of overuse

  • Giving up hobbies and interests
  • Not keeping up with homework and grades are falling
  • irritated and agitated when not playing
  • When sad or upset you escape into a game
  • Rather play games than spend time with family and friends
  • Lie about how long you spend gaming
  • Spend all free time playing 

Effects on behaviour

  • Exposure to violent games causes aggression and decreases empathy for others
  • Playing for over 10 hours a weeks results in less brain activity in regions involving thinking and emotional control
  • Because of this:
    • Governments have passed laws regulating, prohibiting or banning violent games
    • Video games are classified in the same way as films
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Home entertainment systems

  • Digital TV
    • More channels than analogue
    • High quality pictures and sound
    • Digital radio stations accessible on TV
    • Electronic programme guide (EPG) displays programme information on screen
    • More accessible: subtitles, audio and sign language discriptions
    • Interactive features e.g. extra coverage, voting and shopping capabilities 
    • Greater control: save programmes and pause live TV
  • Enhancements
    • Ditgital Projectors - project HD images on a screen or wall
    • Home cinema/theartre: DVD/Blu-ray player, amplifier, 6 speakers surround sound
  • Integration - able to integrate media devices e.g. accessing all music from all rooms
  • Internet - Smart TV's and game consoles allow users to stream channels/films
  • Personal video recorders (PVR) or digital video recorder (DVR) have a hard disk drive allowing you to record TV programmes
  • Set top boxes transform and enhance the signal from the cable or satellite to a form that the TV can display
  • Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) can access content from PC, camera, smartphone, TV through Hi-Fi without plugging anything om or transferring files
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Satellite Navigation 1

Satellite navigation systems (sat navs) use GPS to play routes and give directions. Used by drivers, padestrians and geocachers

Drivers - in addition to route planning routes use sat navs for:

  • check their speed and warn them about speed cameras
  • live traffic reports and avoid congestion
  • find scenic routes or conveniences

Healthy and safety risks

  • Driver may take eyes off the road = caus an accident when changing settings/route
  • Device may cause a blind spot
  • Device could lead drivers down hard-to-navigate roads or incorrect destinations

Pedestrians - find their way around cities or countryside. Give them coordinates, compass

Geocaching - Outdoor, high-tech treasure hunt. Players find containers, geocaches using GPS

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Satellite Navigation 2

Convergence - when devices take on functions normally found on other devices. e.g. smartphones have GPS, downloadable maps, route planning apps

New sat nav functions

  • Larger screens
  • 3D Displays
  • lane assist with images of actual junctions
  • Bluetooth links to mobile phones so they can be used for voice calls
  • eco-route to save petrol on journeys


Some sat navs provide extra information for people with disabillities e.g. disabled parking, disabled toilets, facilities in shops, train stations

Sat navs for blind people will speak their location

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Sat Nav or smartphone app?

Advantages of smartphone

  • Always likely to have mobile phone with you 
  • Generally small, light 
  • If already own one you can downloads the sat nav apps

Disadvantage of smartphones

  • You might have to pay for an expensive sat nat app if your phone doesnt have one
  • May have to pay extra charges if your phone doesnt have a good deal on internet  and you will have to pay roaming charges if you go abroad
  • using GPS on a mobile runs the battery down quickly
  • Smartphone sat nav apps dont always update quickly enough, which could cause you to miss instructions
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Impact on organisations

  • The introduction of computers had an impact on:
    • the number of employees needed
    • skills employees need
    • training and re-training requirements
  • Portable digital devices
    • Allows greater collaberation between workers
    • Puts organisations at greater risk of hackers stealing or corrupting data
  • Online presence - more customers using internet so need a strong online presence
    • website - to show goods and services
    • blog - to tell customers about developments in a more personal way
    • Socail networking sites - to monitor comments and engage in discussions
    • Viral marketing - to advertise services through video uploads
    • Profiling - tracking information about customers transactions gathered using cookies
  • Technology in education
    • Laptops, netbooks, smartphones allow access to online learning resouces
    • Apps for smartphones and tablets make learning enjoyable
    • VLEs allow access to learning resources and let students hand in homework
    • Interactive whiteboards, digital cameras enhance learning experience
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