What’s In Your Smartphone?

April 28, 2014

Last Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the collapse of the Bangladesh garment factory, a sweatshop disaster that killed 1,130 workers. As a result, April 24 was declared Fashion Revolution Day, accompanied by a social media campaign calling on people to wear their clothes inside out with the label exposed to spark a conversation about supply-chain transparency.

Now, the British news organization, The Guardian, asks us the same question regarding our smartphones. Apparently, our can’t-live-without-them devices contain 40 elements mined under questionable, if not deplorable, conditions in host of developing nations around the world.

How Ethical Is Your Smartphone?

How Ethical Is Your Smartphone?

At the same time, smartphones add value to our lives in tangible ways worth considering. To educate us on these issues, the Guardian launched a remarkably beautiful interactive experience designed to keep score on the pros and cons of owning these devices. Using a split-screen composition, the app offers considerations on one hand and on the other.

The navigation and instructions offer a best-in-class user experience. The simplicity of the design and sophisticated, clean graphics create an equally powerful experience.

I chose “On The One Hand” and followed the path through a series of clicks to unfold the story behind the copper used in the circuitry.

One One Hand _1 One-One-hand_2 One One Hand _3

It was fascinating and worth the time — but not to be outdone by exploring “The Other Hand,” where I discovered how the use of smartphones helped millions of people track the path of Hurricane Sandy, assist with preparation and aid evacuation. Check it out for yourself.

Other Hand -1 other hand 2 other hand 3