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Your Smart Phone Is Getting Smarter

Today’s smart phones are much more than phones—they are powerful, networked multimedia computers, and over the next 10 years they’ll get far more advanced. As a result, mobility is transforming every business process, including how we sell, communicate, collaborate, train, and educate. Following are some key developments that will revolutionize the smart phone and every company’s mobile strategy over the next decade.

1.  Your smart phone will have a 3D display and a 3D web browser, and you won’t need special glasses to view it. So instead of just viewing web pages on your smart phone, you’ll be able to go into environments (or stores or showrooms) and maneuver around in them, just as you do on devices like the Xbox. Alternatively, you’ll be able to see things sticking out from the screen, again without the special glasses. The 3D web on your smart phone will be a game-changer for business.  

2. Rather than have to remember numerous passwords, you will be able to access data and sites on your smart phone using multiple biometric authentications. Advanced screen resolution and sensors on the phone will make this possible. For example, when you touch the screen, it will recognize you based on your fingerprint. In addition, your phone’s front-facing camera will use facial recognition to identify you. Everyone’s voice is unique, so voice recognition will also be part of the identification/security process. How you handle the phone—your keystrokes and touch/maneuver patterns—are also unique. The number of biometrics used will depend on the level of security you want based on what you are doing. For example, if you’re accessing your Facebook account, you may only want one biometric for authentication. However, if you’re doing a high-level security activity (such as banking via your smart phone), you’ll likely want to use multiple biometrics.

3. Your smart phone will become your wallet. Credit cards are easy, but e-wallets are easier. Currently, Google has a mobile wallet that works with Citi MasterCard, and in the future it will work with other credit cards. It is secure and enables you to make payments with your smart phone. In the near future, as every financial service firm gets into mobile payments, you will move very quickly from a leather wallet to a smart phone wallet. One example of an enabling technology is NFC, near-field communications chips, which are being built into smart phones as you read this article. They allow for secure and easy payment, so be ready for it. Not ready for e-wallets? How about payments using smart phones by adding a Square or similar system? Starbucks and others are using this already with great success.

4. Your ultra intelligent agent will get smarter. The first ultra intelligent agent was Apple’s Siri. As Siri-like agents advance, they will turn into personal assistants and will be able to search the web for you and bring back focused, highly relevant information based on how long you have used your e-agent and how well it knows you. In other words, your ultra intelligent agent will know your preferences, your likes, and your needs and will automatically compile, present, and share what’s pertinent to you. Additionally, your ultra intelligent agent will have a face when you are looking at the screen and a personality that you choose. You’ll even see celebrities licensing the rights to their digital likeness and personality to be used as ultra intelligent agents.

5. Some of your smart phones will be screen-less. The traditional smart phone with a screen will not go away, but you will have an option for a screen-less smart phone. This will be a very popular and highly adopted smart phone because without the screen, you get rid of much of the need for a big battery. Think of the screen-less smart phone like the little piece of jewelry people wore on the old Star Trek TV show. The screen-less smart phone will be touch and voice activated. When you tap it, you’ll be connected to your ultra-intelligent agent, which is part of a super computer in the cloud. Whatever you need, your ultra intelligent agent will be able to verbally give you the information, such as turn by turn directions, reading your email to you, etc.

6. Your smart phone will interface with smart surfaces. We are already seeing the beginning of using touch and voice-operated intelligent screens as tabletop computers that can access the Internet. Simply by placing your smart phone on these surfaces, the two will link together.  Additionally, your ultra intelligent agent will flow from your smart phone to the screen.

This is just a small sampling of what we’ll see for future smart phone technology. All of these advancements are in their early stages today. So keep in mind that if it can be done, it will be done. The question is, who will be first?

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DANIEL BURRUS is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous untapped opportunities. He is the author of Flash Foresight.


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