While we all wait for the next versions of iPhones and Galaxies, are they “dead men walking?” Technology changes – fast. Where could the smartphone go?
To use an analogy for most of you, it could go the way of the VCR. That technology is commercially dead, but its function lives on through DVR capabilities, and it’s more robust than ever by allowing you to record multiple programs and play them back on any TV that’s part of your in-home cable setup or any device that’s connected to your TV provider’s app.
The iPhone, the world’s first smartphone, is 10 years old. In dog years, that’s well into senior citizenry. In tech years, it’s older than dirt. In its time, it revolutionized how we interface with the world. Besides being a telephone, it’s a handheld computer and an ever-improving still/video camera that gets better only because engineers in a competitive market find new tweaks.
Smartphones have crossed several major thresholds in the way we live:
- We can communicate by voice, text message or email with anyone at any time.
- We can search for and buy almost any product imaginable from any place in the world that has an internet connection (make sure it’s secure).
- We can buy tickets for a local theater production or an around-the-world trip.
- With ability to broadcast videos over social media, we have changed forever the ways in which government agencies and businesses deal with us a citizens or customers.
What’s next? We have some glimpses, and here are some thoughts – in no particular order.
- Wearables: They come in all forms, sizes and shapes, and I could foresee parts of smartphones in all of them. For example, you could have a telephone in a headset or small earpiece, and that could connect to eyeglasses and/or a wristwatch. We have a lot of the individual pieces now, and Bluetooth to connect them. In the short term, we can refine them to make them easy for the masses to use and make them as affordable as a smartphone.
- Augmented Reality: This can create safety issues while driving or walking, but AR tied to your glasses can replace the smartphone screen. You’ll be able to read documents or view pictures and videos with part of your visual field – and it could be made adjustable depending on where you are and what you’re doing. You might use it for Google Maps walking directions, and maybe your AR glasses could project a heads-up display on your windshield for driving directions.
- Artificial Intelligence: When combined with a wearable, it might ask you questions based on your activity – like “do you want directions to the supermarket?” – and automatically connect you to an app to get you there. It might ask you if you want to count steps and take your pulse or blood pressure.
Some futurists think our species will become cyborg-like over the years, combining our humanity with biomechanical advances to improve our motor skills. Add in AI, and we could just become “walking smartphones.” Speculation aside, technology always advances to help us do things better and develop new ways of doing things. It’s the way of the world, and it happens faster than we can usually imagine.
As you adapt new technologies for your everyday life, we can help you integrate them across all platforms and help you look at how new developments can affect the way you live, work and play. Always feel free to contact us by phone – 973-433-6676 – or email for assistance or answers to your questions.