The technology surrounding mobile phones has advanced astonishingly quickly. From the massive ‘brick’ phones for the 90s to the sleek and powerful touch-screen devices we all keep around our person, it seems almost impossible to imagine a world without the ubiquitous smartphone. HoloLens creator Alex Kipman and Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar can imagine that world, however, and he sees a world where smartphones are usurped by augmented reality (AR) smartglasses.
Kipman is very direct about his opinion on the future of the smartphone as we currently know it. Speaking to Bloomberg, he said: “The phone is already dead. People just haven’t realized.” Kipman is confident that the future lies in AR, personal assistants like Alexa and Siri and wearable computing: “The potential of these devices is that they could one day replace your phones, TVs, and all these screens. Once your apps, videos, information, and even social life are projected into your line of sight, you won’t need any other screen-based gadgetry … [it’s] the “natural conclusion” of mixed reality.”
Dona Sarkar sees the nature of human interaction with smartphones as being unnatural and ultimately uncomfortable: Let’s talk about what mobile means. People think about mobile as this thing that they carry around in their pocket. I love my 950 XL, but that is not the only mobile device on the planet. HoloLens is a mobile device. There are going to be new device categories in the future that are also going to be mobile devices. It will be about things you carry with you everywhere you go. As humans it is actually very unnatural for us to stare at a screen. This has only been around for the last 10 years, it makes us antisocial, it makes us not behave the way humans do.”
Of course it still remains to be seen how the future of mobile communication and mobile computing will pan out, but with many analysts pointing out that smartphone development is somewhat stagnant, a change in paradigm could be closer than many of us believe.