Every day before I leave work, I follow the same routine. I check my front-right pocket for this:
and my back-left pocket for this:
We all deal with these three tools because, without any of them, it would impossible to function. But what we really want to do is free ourselves from these encumbrances by just having to deal with one.
Each one of these things are necessary for very distinct reasons. The wallet is the house where credit cards, business cards, cash and identification live. The phone performs a variety of duties, least of which is a little something named calling. Worst of all are the keys. They are the laziest occupants of our pockets. They hitchhike all day long, and only function to let us in and out of our respective abodes. How is it that the smartphone hasn’t absorbed these yet? It can take pictures, access the Internet and perform a million other functions but it cannot yet turn a lock? We might as well be living in the 1980s for goodness sakes. I’ve had enough of cutting my fingers on stubborn, metallic edges when I reach into my pocket for my phone, and I’m tired of them scratching the phone up as well. I’m sick a wallet that is so bloated with business cards, pictures of my face, and little plastic squares that I have to remove it before I sit down, lest it realigns my spinal column. I’m sick of these pocket-denizens announcing their existence by bulging obscenely from my pants.
What I do want them to do is play nicely together. Why do they have to be all so different, so physically inconvenient?
After all, if we consider it carefully, the tools are not what we value, but rather the functions that they perform. Why shouldn’t these tasks be handled by our phones as well? There are so many advantages to gain. No more uncomfortable, bulky pockets. No more important information lost forever. No more cut fingers or scratched screens. No more trips to the chiropractor. Ease and simplicity backed up by the cloud.
I envision a future where I can unlock my door with my phone. Where I can exchange business cards by tapping phones together, prove my identity with pixels and unlock my door with an app. Technically these functions are possible already, but I want them to become standard. Indeed, NFC alone is the solution to many of these, and I believe that in several years we will actually reach this point. But we’re not moving fast enough.
Why not? Because there are inherent problems with the technology that need simple solutions. If you rely on a single device in such a large capacity, how can that device be replaced easily, quickly and cheaply? Can all the information on said device be secured?
Perhaps we’re not at the point where this would be a feasible, or even reasonable alternative to lugging around the ol’ KPW combo, but that’s too bad.
Convergence is where it’s at.
What do you think our smartphones should replace?