Friday, September 14, 2012

We Need A New Name for Phones

Should we still think of them as telephones? The palm-top computer is here and it's called a smartphone. But soon it will start to disappear. All technology that moves into ubiquity eventually becomes invisible.

We are taking the next steps toward augmented reality. Soon, relevant, actionable data will be projected onto your glasses (until they get contact lenses working). Imagine standing and talking to your neighbor with his Facebook profile hovering to the right of his head. His last Twitter post, his wife's name, the kid's names, even the dog. Any and all info you need. In real time:  




Everything you look at will offer you information. Advertising will become more relentless than ever, but it will just become the background noise of our lives. Useful, actionable, relevant information will be available on command.

Artificial intelligence will join the fray. Your smartphone will make decisions for you. Simple tasks will get handled -- sending orders to your robot servants, reject phone calls without bothering you, recommend nearby restaurants, weather reports, traffic, paying bills plus everything it already does now. We will have real digital assistants. 

Once we arrive at this point, the physical smartphone will get smaller and cheaper. You don't need to touch the thing to control it anymore, so why spend money on touch screens or keyboards? Eventually they'll be fashion accessories, from a piece of expensive jewelry to a lump on your belt. Until they get smaller and smaller and just become part of our clothing -- and digital computers vanish. They become invisible because they are literally everywhere.

So, is it still a telephone? Is that still the right name for it? We use it less for telephony and more for data today! I think it deserves a new name.

What do you think?








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