The next big thing in smartphones is NOT uncertainty.
So I was reading an article in Engadget the other day, The next big thing in smartphones is uncertainty, and I have to say that I disagree. No offense to the author intended.
These are interesting times that we live in, after all, Moore’s law was officially declared dead last year, and Microsoft has ported its SQL server into a Linux variety (which would indicate that hell has truly frozen over) that’s giving Oracle a ton of grief. So things aren’t always what they appear to be.
Now, the objection I have to this Engadget article are summed up with this paragraph,
For LG, that means changing not only the way people use smartphones but also the phones themselves. Its new modular G5 not only works with other devices but can also turn into a variety of other devices. So far, that includes fairly modest changes like a module that turns the G5 into more of a full-fledged camera and one that makes it an audiophile-grade media player. LG says that additional add-ons are in the works, though, and it’s hoping other companies will diversify the range of modifications even further.
This isn’t something weird, or something getting weird. Weird would be everyone dumping their phones and going with Google Glass. Or the Oculus Rift headset suddenly turning into a phone. Or people having that Amazon controller ported into their flesh via some kind of chipset injection.
[Tweet “How much of the world still doesn’t have real connectivity? That’s weird. “]
That’s the ‘weird’ bits that we should be focused on fixing, not worrying about whether or not your phone is a better camera than your camera (connected cameras are completely redundant unless you are a professional photographer, IMO) or whether you can connect a keyboard to your phone wirelessly (which hasn’t been new news for at least 5 years now).
Getting mobile phones into peoples’ hands has been a long road, relatively speaking. And getting more mobile phones into more peoples’ hands, especially in places that don’t have it yet, well, that, to my way of thinking, is the focus that we should be narrowing over the next five years.
The phone as a device should be actively extended to make life easier for everyone. Keeping track of things like medical records, financial holdings, managing your calendar, making suggestions based on the context of where you are located and what you seem to be doing (seem to be since AI is just a well educated guess), allowing users to get help in the case of an emergency, and reducing friction in the things that we do every day.