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 a n AI system than a doctor.