Compared to even a few years ago, use of the internet and mobile smartphones has expanded at a phenomenal rate. According to the Office for National Statistics, 86% of UK households now have internet access – up from 57% in 2006 – while nearly three quarters of adults (and nearly a third of over 65s) have used a mobile phone, tablet, or similar device to access the internet “on the go”.
Whether it’s for shopping, social networking, finding information about goods and services, emailing, or banking, mobile technology has revolutionised the way we live, and will continue to do so.
While there are, of course, obvious limitations – many parts of rural Wales in particular have poor broadband connectivity – it is clear that the horticulture sector must capitalise on this ever-improving technology.
The app market is one of the fastest growing markets around the world; there are now over 500,000 apps available for the iPhone alone. We have undertaken a review of apps currently available that are relevant to horticultural growers, as well as identifying a number of additional topic areas where the development of new mobile apps may prove beneficial to the industry:
Another mobile-related technology that offers potential to the horticulture sector in Wales – both as a sales/promotional tool and as a management aid – is QR codes.
Basically barcodes that consumers, staff, or retailers can scan with a mobile phone to access an array of information, here is a beginner’s guide to the concept: