What’s the next big task our phones will take over?

It seems like with each generation of mobile phones, this handheld monster takes over another chunk of our tech demands. It’s pretty much the perfect employee, right? Doing more each year than it did the previous year, and not really asking much more of our money.

Think about it. In the past decade or so, the mobile phone has replaced the walkman/MP3 player, the point-and-shoot camera and the GPS. And that’s just to name a few of the big ones.

So what’s next? Like technology, the possibilities are endless. It’s almost to the point where we don’t have to wonder what’s next, we’ll almost get to decide what we WANT next.

I personally look forward to smartphone innovations that, as a side effect, eliminate my need for some other piece of technology or some other thing I have to carry. Like in my previous examples — no longer do I need a GPS in my car and an MP3 player in my pocket for my daily driving/walking commute into San Francisco; now it’s just my iPhone.

In that spirit, here are two of the things I’d like to see my phone take over in the near future. I’m not talking being able to do these by some nifty work-around; I’m talking about a full everyone-is-doing-it takeover.

1. My remote control(s): I feel like we’re probably only a step or two away from this. With Apple TV, you can already control some of your multimedia experience with your iOS devices. There are even a few interesting work-arounds for both Android and Apple devices to control your TV. With that in mind, I feel like the potential to completely replace the need for any remote is within our technological grasp. That’s a development I’d certainly welcome. I almost always have my iPhone or iPad in hand when I’m watching TV anyway. So let’s ditch these remotes.

2. My wallet: We are somewhat on our way to this already, especially when it comes to making purchases. If you give me the ability to make any purchase I’d like with my phone, then that only leaves a few reasons to carry my wallet — my driver’s license and my auto and medical insurance information. I don’t have to tell you how easy it would be to incorporate those into smartphone technology. Hell, Geico and State Farm already do it for auto insurance. Many doctors’ offices don’t need your actual insurance card, they just need the information on it. Lastly, if states are going to accept your digital ID as proof of car insurance, surely they’d accept some applicable form of digital driver’s ID as proof that you’re a licensed driver. Give me those three things, and I actually have no need to carry a wallet anymore.

So there you have the things I’d most like to see incorporated into my smartphone. Now it’s your turn. What do you think will be the next be development in smartphone technology, or what would you most like to see? Let me know in the comments.

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