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Smartphones at Play

During the first wave of smartphones, technology advancement impacted our lives first, and then our work. Now, the two forces will join hands to make the journey faster, more exciting. Here are five ways it will change your life

Published: Feb 21, 2013 06:05:57 AM IST
Updated: Feb 15, 2013 05:25:10 PM IST

Smartphones at Play
1. Know Thyself

Track data about yourself easily and automatically—weight, sleep time, exercise, feelings. Smartphones will seamlessly connect to other devices. Even today, wrist devices like Fitbit Flex or Nike Fuel Band track your activities on your smartphone. Research grade EEGs such as the ones by NeuroSky can measure your brainwaves. All these will have an impact on the way you live. What you can measure, you can manage.

2. Play
You will be able to control games with your mind: Mindgames, a company from Iceland, has games that challenge you to bend spoons using your mind (you need an EEG device). Then there are near-field technologies: In 2011, Google showed how two Android phones can exchange notes by tapping (like two wine glasses). Of course, bigger screens, better resolution, 3D, will all impact gameplay.

Illustration: Sameer Pawar

3. Take control
Dutch company Waleli’s GSM doorbell allows you to talk to a visitor from any location, and even let him in. Two years ago, computer scientist Pranav Mistry showcased the app TeleTouch that converts your smartphone into a remote control. With apps such as these, the possibilities are endless. For example, turn the AC on as you come close to your house.

4. Shop
Phones can already remind you to buy provisions when you are near a shop. Soon, they will let you compare prices with shops nearby. The Zillow app tells you prices of houses for sale as you drive along. Autotrader’s iPhone app lets you photograph the number plate of a car you might fancy to find out more about it and see if it’s for sale.

5. Connect
Futurist Ray Kurzweil speaks of a time when phones will project realistic 3D holographs, giving the impression that you are talking to others face to face. That might be several years away, but the increasing integration of social media with a more advanced mobile device will help us connect deeper. Streaming videos will become elegant.

(This story appears in the 22 February, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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