Smartphones hold key to future says expert
SMARTPHONES becoming more powerful will spell the end of keys, TV remotes and cash within the next 10 years, according to a futurist.
Dr Ian Pearson has suggested that because of the ever-increasing power of technology - in particular smartphones - a host of everyday items will become redundant in the next decade as smartphone tools replace them. These include keys, pocket mirrors, torches, travel tickets, driving licences and cash.
Dr Pearson, who previously predicted the arrival of text messaging, has partnered with mobile network TalkTalk Mobile to come up with his expectations, which come in the wake of new data from Ofcom which showed smartphone use has overtaken laptops for the first time when it comes to accessing the internet.
On the demise of keys, Dr Pearson said: "The days of digging through handbags and cursing after locking our keys inside the car will be fading by 2025.
"NFC technology will enable us to lose those elusive keys for good. With a tap of the phone, doors will open wide, with fingerprint recognition keeping our virtual keys safe."
Near-field communication, or NFC, is the same technology already used to power contactless card payments, and will also mean the end of cash, Dr Pearson said.
He also suggested that improving smartphones cameras will mean the end of compact mirrors.
"Pocket mirrors will disappear in favour of the portable dressing-room in our pockets. By 2025 augmented reality will allow us to 'wear' any number of stylish outfits or virtually try the newest haircut.
"Anti-ageing creams that don't live up to their promise will also be put to the test as our phones will be able to microscopically zoom into our skin and work out whether they're really making a difference."
Driving licences will also be among the physical items to vanish, he says.
Dr Pearson added: "Driving licences will have moved onto our smartphones by 2017 and will talk directly to new 'friendly' speed cameras.
"Eight years down the line, these cameras will notify you immediately if you're going to break the limit and warn you to slow down or risk a penalty.
"These informal warnings mean first-time offenders won't suffer the consequences of a genuine mistake and the yellow boxes on the sides of our roads will no longer instil quite as much terror into the hearts of drivers."