It is becoming apparent what the next step for smart phone development will be. And I don’t mean making them smaller; they’re small enough. They now have a GPS (for locating), a camera (for taking pictures), a mirror (if you have the right app), and of course a phone, which can be used for talking or texting. They will soon have voice activation for many tasks. And of course they have Internet access; it’s not so much that they are smart as it is that they are connected. But that’s not what I’m talking about either. I’m looking at the next step in their ability to handle transactions, not just financial ones either, because right now we can purchase things from the Internet or from a vending machine using our phones. The next step goes beyond just replacing the money and credit cards in our wallets that give us the ability to purchase things. They will do more than just perform financial transactions. With the added functionality of authentication they will replace not only the money and cards in our wallets but also our licenses and keys in our pockets and purses. With the intelligence of authentication, smart phones will not only be connected but also have a level of agency for us. They will allow us to handle other transactions, like transferring medical records or gaining membership-only access to areas or information, that require proof of our identity, namely authentication. We are only at the beginning of what we will be able to do electronically and easily as long as we are connected. We may have to come up with a better name for them than just ‘smart phones’.
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