Every month or so, someone with a brain predicts much greater than me what happens to the technology's future. The Internet is dead. The personal computer is dead. Now it's the smartphone that will die. Soon.
Spread among Apple's doomed memes, trolling the Internet is one that is still general in nature, but the big brains are keen to put the pieces together from present and past that will point the way towards a smartphone-less future. I believe in it when I see it, but I don't realize I'm going to be long enough to see it.
Changes to the Future
If we thought what technology forecasters said, we would all be in perfect health thanks to a daily pill, everyone would have flying cars, and no one would work because robots would do everything. Maybe. After all, Stepford men who run Washington, D.C. these days.
Most attempts to predict the future have gone wild, and they are like someone saying that history was changed by this or that event. History doesn't change because of something that happens today, not say it in the future.
Steve Ranger claims:
Every technology is rising and falling: soon it will be the smartphone's turn. But what should replace it?
Good question. But I am more concerned about the near future, and when the smartphone will be replaced than I am about what will replace it.
Whether the technology falls after it rises is likely to depend on how long you want to see the future. The radio is dead. Apart from that, it's not. TV is dead. Apart from that, it's not. The personal computer is dying. Not really, because now it fits nicely in my pocket. Even Star Trek couldn't look too far into the future. Star Trek TNG had touch screen computer screens while Star Trek Classic had computers. It was the year 2364 vs. about 2265 or so for the original.
The case of the smartphone is not how advanced it is. It is. But it's about how many other technologies have been absorbed in a single unit.
For a while it looked like wear would be the next big thing, but it turns out to be difficult to fit enough processing power and battery life into something like a smartwatch to make it a viable alternative to a phone. And even if these two issues can be overcome, the screen will never be large enough for any laptop to make it our primary connection to the digital world.
So, a screen we can see is important. Future monitors may be about magnified reality and virtual reality, both of which are available to some extent, and both are ignored by the masses.
But I just don't see a next development of personal technology that does not involve any kind of overlay on our vision. Smartglasses will in turn be a step for smart contact lenses or even brain technology that Facebook announced last week, it works with (Elon Musk has talked about something similar too).
Sounds like ideas you want to read about in popular science.
The smartphone won't die out, of course. Old technologies don't die, they just find their niche and fossilize.
You know. Like Windows. But not like This year's Linux on the desktop . It's already here. But the name has changed to Chromebook. Sometimes the future surprises us. Perhaps smartphones have already died, thanks to the iPhone that made a last minute of innovation on an obsolete, stagnant platform.
The closest model we have is PC: fast adoption at saturation level, then stagnation for a long time followed by a late outbreak of innovation before entering a comfortable niche. Over the next five to ten years, the smartphone will do the same. People will use smarphones for decades, just as some people still use pagers. But already Silicon Valley looks past smartphones.
If the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus are part of the smartphone segment of modern technology, then the end must be close.
What about the future?
What about voice-activated contact lenses that do everything an iPhone can do today, including wireless internet transmission, thought commands, health sensors and endless battery life thanks to the kinetic force generated by eye movement? It's probably as credible as flying cars.