Smartphones have been so successful that 'new technology may not be able to replace them.acer.
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns .
I'm going to ask an intentionally provocative question: what if smartphones were so efficient and useful that they hinder innovation?
Technologists are now imagining what could be the next big thing. But there may never be anything other than the smartphone, the first and perhaps the last consumer and transformative computer on a global scale.
I might end up looking like a futuristic 19th centuryi couldn't imagine that horses would be replaced by cars. But let me make the point that the smartphone phenomenon may never happen again.
First, when tech people imagine the future , they're implicitly betting that smartphones will be displaced as the center of our digital life by less obvious things - not slabs that take us away from our world, but technologies that are almost indistinguishable from the air we breathe. .
Virtual reality glasses are now bulky trouble, but the bet is this technology like VR or computers that can "learn" as people will eventually blur the line between online life and real lifeit, and between the human and the computer, to the point of erasing it. This is the vision behind the“ verse ”, a broad view that virtual human interactions will be as complex as reality.
Maybe you I think more immersive, more human tech sounds intriguing, or maybe they look like crazy woo-woo dreams. (Or maybe a little of both.) Either way, technologists have to prove to us that the future they imagine is more compelling and useful than the digital life we already have thanks to supercomputers. magic in our pockets.
The challenge with any new technology is that smartphones have become so successful that it is hard to imagine any alternatives. In a sales boom that lasted for aboutover a decade, devices have grown from new to wealthy nerds to the only computer billions of people around the world have ever owned. Smartphones have succeeded to the point where we no need to give them much notice . (Yes, this includes the gradually updated iPhone models which Apple discussed on Tuesday.)
The allure of these devices in our lives and in the imaginations of technologists is so powerful that any new technology must now exist almost in opposition to the smartphone.
When my colleague Mike Isaac tried New model of Facebook glasses that allows you to take photos with a simple tap on the temple, a company executive told him: " Isn't that better than having to pull out your phone and hold it? in front of your face every time you want to capture a moment? "
I understand the executive 's point of view. It is true that devices like the Apple Watch, Facebook glasses, and Snap glasses are smart to make smartphone functionality less intrusive. Companies including Facebook, Snap and Apple is also working on glasses which, like the failed Google Glass, aim to combine informationDigital rmations such as maps with what we see around us.
The comment also shows that any new consumer technology will need to answer the inevitable questions: Why should I buy another gadget for taking pictures, browsing bike routes or listening to music when I can do most of this with the smartphone that's already in my pocket? Do I live in the verse when I have a similar experience in my phone 's rectangular screen?
Smartphones probably aren't there apotheosis of technology, and I am curious to see the development of technologies that want to move away from it. But at least for now, and maybe forever, most of the technology in our daily lives is complements to our phones rather than replacements. These small computers can be so convenient thatthere will never be a post-smartp perfecting the revolution.
Before you go…
Should you buy a new phone now? In a recent column, my colleague Brian X. Chen went through the questions to ask if you are thinking of swap your smartphone for a new model : can you fix what makes your phone rather boring than replacing it? Can you still get software updates with the existing model? How would a new phone change your life?
We wanted some flying cars and got an $ 850 robot vacuum that moves around dog doo: To build the latest Roomba, the company“ built on 100 physical models of pet feces and algorithms trained on over one hundred thousand images to make the device avoid shit, "writes the Washington Post. Robots collect a lot of data inside your home. (The Roomba is always confused by the black striped carpet , however.)
"It 'sa surprisingly dark sight, andit is on purpose. " This is a essay on a new streaming video series focused on a famous TikTok family that humanizes people who are embarking on the social media celebrity.
Hugs to this
Watch these video clips from a barred owl nest in Indiana. Baby owls that learn to fly are really the cutest things.
We want to hear from you. Tell us what what you think of this newsletter and what you likelaugh as we explore each other. You can reach us at ontechHfrance.fr.
If you have not already received this newsletter in your inbox, please register here . You can also read columns passed on technology .