The evolution of smartphones over the years has been rather extraordinary to watch. In some ways, an evolved smartphone today may do the same things it did upon the launch of a first edition over 10 years ago. But plenty of changes have occurred. We have more apps, tech specs have improved, we have more choices, and phones are simply capable of a lot more across the board. It can only make you wonder how much more things might change in another couple of years.
Following this line of thought, these are some educated guesses as to what new or newly emphasized things we might be using our phones for by 2020.
1. Day-to-Day Payments
As noted above, credit and debit cards have largely replaced cash by this point. But their reign may not last particularly wrong. There is talk already of mobile phones replacing wallets within a few years, which is another way of saying that we may soon be relying on our phones for day-to-day payments. Right now options in this space are limited by what programs are available on a given phone, as well as which stores have point-of-sale equipment that accepts digital payments. But these options will only expand over the next few years, such that we may well use our phones almost exclusively to pay for things.
2. Augmented Reality
Many will argue, and logically so, that augmented reality is the next big thing in smartphone technology. AR has already arrived in that we can look through our phones and see it in action. But this has proven to be largely inconvenient, and it clearly limits the potential of mobile AR. That potential will be fully realized in the coming year however, when brand new AR glasses are released to pair with popular smartphones. With those glasses, AR will essentially become a regular, mainstream means of interaction, not just with games but across a whole range of categories.
If you’re in a country that allows for legal sports betting, you might already consider this a fairly mainstream smartphone activity. There are dozens of major sites, many of which have mobile branches, and all of which contain a plethora of features. But much of the world hasn’t been exposed to all of this just yet – and is about to be. Most notably, the U.S. is welcoming in legal betting for the first time in a very long time, which means millions of users will be newly introduced to this particular form of mobile recreation in short time.
Right now, you’re free to buy a projector that can hook up to your phone such that you can stream video content against a wall, a sheet, or whatever else you may set up. However, the accessories may not be necessary in the near future. The technology exists already for smartphones to essentially have built-in projectors, and it could well be one of the next major features that the big mobile providers present and compete over. So within a few years, when you lay down in bed to watch a favorite TV show for a bit before going to sleep, you might be projecting it onto your ceiling rather than staring at your phone.