A recent poll done by the Pew Research Center found that 35 percent of American adults own a smartphone; I am lucky enough to fall into the 65 percent who do not. Sure, who wouldn’t want the convenience of having a device that operates similar to a computer in their pocket at all times. But, what happens when you become so reliant on that device, that it starts to control you? This is exactly what’s happening to millions of Americans in what appears to be a technological epidemic.
In 1973, Martin Cooper made the first phone call from a mobile device. Cooper, who was
the general manager of Motorola’s communications systems division, believed that a phone should be portable and able to travel anywhere we went. Cooper told BBC that he hoped cellphones would be, “something that would represent an individual, so you could assign a number not to a place, not to a desk, not to a home, but to a person.” Fast forward to 1992 when the first smart phone was invented and you’ll realize that cell phones have morphed to not only represent an individual, but become an individual.In an interview with CNN, Futurist Richard Hammond referred to this idea as, “a complete physical interface to the digital and virtual worlds.”
In an article on CNN .com, Andrew Keen states that,“The real problem with these phones is their increasing intelligence. Just as Google is designing the self-driving car, so tomorrow’s cell phone will become more and more all-knowing.” Everyday companies are searching for the next advancement in cell phone technology, and everyday more and more people are surrendering their independence to the device. Computerworld.com described some recent developments in smartphone technology,
1.Flexible Smartphone Designs– Foldable, dual-screen designs have started to appear on the market. Also, people should expect wearable phones, such as wrist-watch phones to be released.
2. Near Field Communication or NFC– allows you to make simplified transactions, data exchanges, and connections by touching your phone to an object or another phone. Google is in the process of creating a form of NFC called the Ice-cream sandwich update, which will allow people to exchange information simply by putting two phones back to back.
3. Augmented Reality– A feature, said to become a standard on cellphones in the future, that collects, analyzes, and provides useful data to the user without the user knowing it. For example, you can point your phone at your surroundings and an application will display all the historical landmarks nearby.
4. Powerful Chipsets– There must be some way to store the growing amount of cell phone capabilities. Quad-core chips are being designed that will have the capacity to support several features while also enabling information to be processed five-times faster than the current leading smartphone chip.
It’s scary to think about the amount of power mobile devices will have in the future. As the device’s intelligence grows, so does people’s reliance on it. If the cellphone continues to develop at such a rapid pace, it could eventually rival the human brain. As Richard Hammond put it, “This intelligence will become so indistinguishable from us that it will actually become part of us.”