The Future May Not Include Your Phone
Smartphone supremacy is starting to wane. The devices aren’t going away anytime soon, but their grip on the consumer is weakening. Global sales slump, lack of new advancements, and the price of today’s new models make smartphones not look so smart anymore. Functions that were the exclusive domain of smartphones are now flying out of phones and onto other products with their own embedded smart connections like wristwatches, televisions that can now talk and listen, and then there is Alexa where voice-activated speakers smaller than a bread box can make more than dinner reservations for you.
We may need another word in the future for whatever the smartphone will become because when “smart” is everywhere that term becomes almost meaningless. Like the arc in the personal computer, smartphones now are more of a need in the modern world than a splurge. Manufacturers are now engaged in a race toward the bottom. Chinese and South Korean manufacturers are now making similar devices at lower prices, with newer features and advanced technology.
Consumers are pulling back amid the tech industry’s acknowledgment their products can be addictive, spur anxiety, distract drivers and even walkers on a sidewalk, and cast a ring of silence over restaurants and dinner tables. You’ve all witnessed it, four people at a table and no one is talking, they are all on their phones. Flip phone sales are again inching upward as more people now just want a basic phone. Americans on average spend two and a half hours daily on their smartphones. The need to have something with you is not going away. But in the future, we may be wearing it, a chip implanted in our skulls or glasses that will do everything and more than today’s smartphones can do.