Aug 7, 2012

Where do I want my phone to be in 5 years?

In the past 3 years my phone went from a dumb-down Nokia I-can't-remember-the-model to an iPhone 4S and a Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean (Nokia N95, Blackberry World Edition, iPhone 3GS, and Nexus One along the way). This goes fast, so before the future gets here, here are the 10 main things I want my phone to be / do in the next 5 years.
  1. Crazy good battery life. I'm talking about days of battery life, not hours. I just don't want to think about charging my phone anymore. I want wireless charging so just by getting closer to a power station my phone will charge itself without me even noticing.

  2. Incredible lighter and thiner. They still feel bulky sometimes. A lot of progress has been made in this regard but so much can still be done. Imagine a phone that fits in your wallet (and I don't know why I would want to put it there, but you get the point).

  3. 100% voice controlled. I hate buttons and complicated interfaces. Voice is the natural replacement of these. Humans communicate using voice and we have seen already pretty compelling voice interfaces (read Siri and Google Now). They are good, but not great. I want to tell whatever I want to my phone and I want it to do it. No questions asked.

  4. Full-featured payment mechanism. No more plastic. At all. Bye. I want to pay everything and everywhere with my phone. It's with me all the time and I shouldn't have to carry anything else in my pockets. Google Wallet et. al. are doing a good job, but we are still not quite there.

  5. Again, no plastic. Following on the previous point, I don't want any plastic, including my ID. Any form of identification should be built into our phones. If I open my wallet right now, I can't find anything that can't be easily discarded in favor of an electronic replacement.

  6. Key replacement. My car keys? Nope, my phone should open my car. My home keys? Same thing. Office? Mailbox? Yup. A bluetooth-type key-less system would be awesome: get close enough and the "thing" will open without having you to say / do anything.

  7. An electronic identity. I didn't have a better name for this one. Basically, I'd like the phone to identify me everywhere I go (if I choose to, of course). At the bank the clerk will know about me without asking 20 questions. The cops won't have to ask for your "registration and license" anymore, and we'll save ton of time just by electronically answering / filling every form we have to. All this by just pressing a button.

  8. No more paper. Plane tickets? Nope. Movie tickets? Concert tickets? Invitations? Checks? Receipts? You name it. Answer is no for all of them. Everything that requieres you to carry something should be replaced. The phone should take care. Magically.

  9. Better shopping experience. Imagine going to a store, scanning (or touching?) the products you want and have someone instantly packing them at the front door for you to pick them up when you are done. No payment processing, no carrying carts around. Or real targeted ads showing only what I care about (yes, as seen on Minority Report).

  10. Easily reemplazable and secure. Since our life will be so tightly coupled to our phone, we'll have to make them easily reemplazable and bullet-proof secure. Loosing your phone shouldn't be a pain other than having to buy a new one.
Think about it. We are not that far. I can even say we are almost there. Is more about the entire ecosystem evolving than the phones themselves.