With smartphones steadily gaining in popularity around the world, most people will admit that it would be difficult for them to live without their handsets for any length of time. Not only do these gadgets allow people to communicate with their friends, family and colleagues, but these ubiquitous devices also help them stay on top of the latest happenings from around the world thanks to the super-fast networks being rolled out by wireless carriers worldwide. Smartphones have almost single-handedly replaced the good old personal computer for many, while for many others, it is now the primary internet-connected device they own, even if they use their desktops or laptops for all the heavy lifting. No wonder then, that the unassuming little devices have become such an integral part of our lives over the past several years.
However, even as smartphones are currently the single-largest product category in the consumer electronics sector, the future for the all-pervasive gadget may not be as bright as one would have believed. According to a member on the board of German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom AG, the same smartphones that represent the cutting edge of what consumer tech has to offer today, will soon become obsolete relics that might as well be displayed at museums in the near future. Speaking at the DLD tech conference in Berlin on Thursday, Ms. Claudia Nemat said that in her opinion, the end of the smartphone era may not be that far away. With smart clothing and other forms of smart wearables expected to gain in popularity over the next several years, Ms. Nemat pointed out that such new technology will come with embedded chips for connectivity, thereby eliminating the need for specialized devices meant for communication alone.
Drawing a parallel with the old rotary telephones that exist only as retro nostalgia pieces these days, Ms. Nemat claimed that, “In a few years, your kids will look at the smartphone in a museum and they will probably look as astonished at your smartphone as my kids are when I show them an old dial telephone”. With gesture and voice already being used to control smartphones, speakers and other gadgets, the Deutsche Telecom board member claimed that she expects such technology to become commonplace in the near future, thereby sending the humble smartphone into oblivion.