This one is so clearly obvious it can’t even be categorized as a prediction anymore. A report by Ericsson has been released which surveyed 100,000 consumers on their own forecasts for the top tech trends in future years. Predictably, the smartphone will no longer be viewed as the go-to-device in our everyday lives, with 50% of respondents saying that they expected most smartphone uses replaced by artificial intelligence by 2021.
So what are we predicting to overthrow our beloved screens?
Well, it’s obvious from the absence of innovation between the major smartphone companies that they are really struggling. Apple maintains its persistent pursuit of thinnovation, while Samsung thinks that larger screens and liquid cooling for speedier processors are what consumers are searching for. If Ericsson’s ConsumerLab report is anything to go by, the public have become bored of this direction. The most recent major shift occurred in 2007 with the launch of the original iPhone, and every hardware player is locked into a relentless cycle of incremental one-upmanship with specs instead of risking bringing in a new form and creating yet another shift.
The technology is definitely not there yet, however, the breadcrumb trail is there.
Apple is still developing its own capabilities which could imply that they have more faith in delivering a really useful artificial intelligence for the masses instead of a continuing marketing opportunity that something like IBM Watson seems to be on the surface. Apple also thinks that this is the future of interaction with the items we take for granted today, not only consumer items such as TVs, tablets and the smartphone. The picture of talking to your computer like in Star Trek, and it totally understanding and carrying out those commands is almost becoming a reality in the next 5 years.
Meanwhile, Google is still pushing the cloud imperative, where streaming apps and also an operating system which totals several apps and that can be retrieved anywhere over the internet across devices could represent a new stage of computing which is heading our way.
Why refer to a screen when your assistant is able to read a web article for you instead? Why have antennas when it’s woven into the fabric of your clothing from now on as a standard? Actually, why need cell when Wi-Fi or Li-Fi will be everywhere by 2021?
This is not in the area of science fiction; this is just five to ten years away, if that, assuming the companies we presently respect begin to take the smartphone race in a totally different direction.
So, instead of a prediction, this will become a reality. As we know it, the smartphone is dead, and once the Samsung Galaxy 7 and iPhone 7 are released in 2016 an uninterested public will start to demand something more in line with how their lives are being transformed by other forces.