Predictions 2017.8 – Clive Davies

December 6, 2016

{b}The Age of the [Smart]phone{/b}
Star Trek communicators have become reality in the form of so called smartphones, though we can’t yet say ‘Beam me up Scotty’ like Captain James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. It will come though. Scientists in 2016 in the Canadian city of Calgary effectively teleported, if not a person, a light particle over 8.2 kilometres utilising a phenomenon known as entanglement (which in case you didn’t know describes how sub-atomic particles can be linked even if they are separated by a large distance).

On a more modest level, in 2016 I used Apple Pay for the first time, in a coffee shop as I recall. My prediction is that over 2017 we’ll stop calling them smartphones – which in practice we don’t anyway – we all say ‘just got to charge my phone’, not ‘my smartphone’ – and use them more and more in really clever ways for payment and for greater interaction with our environment and for entertainment. Credit cards and cash will become a thing of the past replaced by digital wallets. We’ll go beyond selfies to augmented reality – utilising cameras on phones to get an information overlay on a scene in front of us. In-built projectors and flexible screens will enhance our ability to watch sport and entertainment. Maybe one day even holographics? It’s going to make that train or plane journey more exciting – and impress or annoy your fellow passengers in equal measure.

AI (artificial intelligence) will play its part. Google and Facebook already employ ‘deep-learning software’ in the cloud to run processes such as facial and voice recognition. This could move onto smartphones in the near future.

And occasionally, just rarely, we’ll use them as a voice, text or WhatsApp medium to ‘phone home’ like ET and say, mundanely, the train’s running late again.

{b}{i}Clive Davies is Senior Counsel at Fujitsu and a Fellow of SCL.