Phones
Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

AI has two paths for the smartphone: walk or burst

In recent days we have known some meetings that have shades of mysticism perhaps, and of technological futurism with complete certainty: those of Sam Altman and Jony Ive. The CEO of OpenAI, the company that has changed the world’s perception of AI; and the former head of design at Apple, whose mark marked the aesthetics of a company that is still valid today.

Together, as he said The Informationhave held these meetings to talk about how to approach the creation of a new device based on Artificial Intelligence.

The next thing to the smartphone or the next thing from the smartphone

No one has been able to specify if these conversations are considering the option of maintaining the smartphone as a consumer device par excellence, or if they are seeking to transcend it and make it another form factor that replaces it.

The death of the smartphone will come one day. We don’t know if there are six years left or forty, but at some point we will have to transcend him. They have been devastating for many reasons, but they are not free of inconveniences: we can leave them behind, forgotten; They are glass bricks that, although they are more resistant, are still fragile and, today, have a very marked limitation in the field of vision that they can occupy us.

Then We will have to see what replaces it. For now we have several recent proposals, all oriented as body devices. That of Humane with its disturbing holographic clip, that of Rewind with a pendant as a record of everything we say and hear or the Meta and Ray-Ban glasses as a bridge to take advantage of Meta AI.

Many more will come, but only some will survive and endure.

The arrival of the iPhone and Android completely changed the standard of smartphone industrial design, and that in turn transformed an entire industry.

Data: GARTNER

top manufacturers 2006

TOP MANUFACTURERS 2022

1

Nokia

Samsung

2

Motorola

Manzana

3

Samsung

Xiaomi

4

Sony Ericsson

Alive

5

LG

Oppo

6

BenQ Mobile (Siemens)

realme

Of the six on the right, only Samsung has survived as such. Sony separated itself from Ericsson and its sales are residual; Nokia ended up in the hands of Microsoft, liquidated and then sold to HMD. Motorola, after several changes of ownership, continues to sell under its brand, although far from the relevance of yesteryear. LG stopped making mobile phones and BenQ not only had to close but even auctioned off its assets on eBay. The market is relentless.

And although it does not appear in the right column, Google is the other big winner of the mobile era. Its hardware sales will be a rounding error compared to Samsung’s, but Android has also been relentless.

What’s coming now? Nobody knows, but we do have some certainties.

On the one hand, that The jump towards watches or glasses as a replacement for the smartphone is still far from being a real option. Smartwatches are increasingly independent, intelligent and autonomous, but they only achieve a fraction of what a smartphone offers. Glasses are gaining capabilities and have the advantage of increasing the field of vision and integrating cameras, but autonomy and miniaturization remain too great challenges. Apple still does not propose glasses but something more similar to a helmet, with two hours of autonomy thanks to an external battery and with a price of about 4,000 euros.

On the other hand, the accessories that we have been seeing in the form of body devices (rings, bracelets, pendants, headphones…) that’s what they are, accessories.

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If Altman and Ive limit themselves to creating the so-called ‘iPhone of AI’, which is no small thing, and manage to propose a continuous path for the mobile phone based on Artificial Intelligence, iOS and Android will begin to tighten their ties and the smartphone will walk.

If, on the other hand, they are able to transcend the smartphone with devices that are sufficiently complete and convincing in terms of power, capabilities and user experience, we will begin to see an end on the horizon for the mobile phone, just as we once stopped carrying around an MP3 or a paper agenda because the mobile phone absorbed its functions. and the smartphone will burst.

Featured image | TechGIndia.

Danish Kapoor