Smartphones are a long way from being dead

The modern smartphone is only about 10 years old and it'll be a long, long time before it's replaced.
Reuters

The modern smartphone is only about 10 years old and it'll be a long, long time before it's replaced.

OPINION: In the past few weeks, two top tech companies have said smartphones will soon be obsolete.

Microsoft's Alan Kipman made the boldest statement, saying smartphones are already "dead". 

Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, was a bit more generous, giving smartphones about five years before they were replaced.

There were two things in common about the companies behind these statements.

First, they both missed the smartphone bus. Microsoft has repeatedly tried to make phones and an operating system and has failed each time.

Facebook also tried to make an operating system and tanked even worse than Microsoft.

Second, they are both bullish on augmented reality. In fact, both statements came while promoting their AR tech. AR is the integration of digital information with your environment in real time. The Pokemon Go app is the most common example.

Kipman is responsible for Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset and he predicts this type of tech will kill off our love for smartphones. Zuckerberg agrees and outlines a world where everyone wears glasses which allow virtual screens to be everywhere.

You just need to look back at Google Glass to see this idea won't work. Even the practical issues of using them are enough to doom the idea, let alone the technical challenges such as battery life.

No-one minds carrying around a 150g phone in their hand, pocket or purse, but you'll struggle to get people to wear glasses or a headset all day, every day.

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Just ask anyone who needs glasses - they're a pain.

Then there's the problem of using the AR glasses. There's enough crashes and stumbles already with smartphones. Distracted walkers and drivers would become even more of a hazard.

Imagine the social calamities too. People walking around talking to themselves and their devices, spending time in virtual situations while physically somewhere else. It all sounds like a bad sci-fi movie.

The gadgets and services that become common are those that are simple and accessible.

Desktop computers are nearly 40 years old and are still found in many homes. That's because they're affordable and do their job well.

The modern smartphone is only about 10 years old and it'll be a long, long time before it's replaced.

 - Stuff

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