Why Smartphones Could be Dead in 5 Years



Smartphones could be obsolete in five years’ time, according to consumers polled in a new survey.

Swedish network infrastructure firm Ericsson questioned 100,000 people across 40 countries, and one in two smartphone users “think that smartphones will be a thing of the past, and that this will happen in just five years”.

In its place will be artificial intelligence which will “enable interaction with objects without the need for a smartphone screen”.

Driving this desire to kill the smartphone is the fact that people want bigger devices — which often come with power-draining screens — but also desire longer battery life, according to Ericsson. It said that this “contradictory demand” highlights the needs for better solutions.

AI could be just that, while wearable electronic assistants will also gain in popularity, according to 85 percent of those surveyed. One in two believes they will be able to talk to household appliances as they do to people.

“Smartphone users believe AI will take over many common activities, such as searching the net, getting travel guidance and as personal assistants,” Ericsson’s report said.

AI products are already on the market. Amazon’s Echo is a device that people can talk to and receive information from. It can even carry out tasks such as playing music. Google Now, Microsoft Cortana and Apple’s Siri are all digital personal assistants that work via AI.

And the idea of artificial intelligence seems to be gaining traction with people. Nearly half of those polled (44 percent), think an AI System would be good as a teacher, a third would like an AI device to keep them company, and 29 percent would feel more comfortable discussing their medical condition with an AI system than a doctor.



Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by Phil Roeder

About the author: Arjun Kharpal

Arjun Kharpal is a News Assistant for CNBC in London. He took on the role after interning at the company for three months. Arjun has previously written for the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Mirror in London.

You are seconds away from signing up for the hottest list in New York Tech!

Join the millions and keep up with the stories shaping entrepreneurship. Sign up today.