If you spend as much time as we do with our thumb on the pulse of the mobile tech world, it begins to feel like the future is already here. Between the human-powered helicopter, the U.S’s decision to issue athlete visas to professional video gamers, and the fact that DARPA developed a Terminator, it’s a pretty interesting time to be alive. The only thing missing is the flying car we’ve been promised since The Jetsons.
One of the key elements in the evolution of our technology will almost certainly include smartphone integration. At some point we’re going to have to call them something other than “smartphones,” considering that making telephone calls is not their primary function. We’re really only beginning to scratch the surface of what’s achievable when everyone’s walking around with a powerful computer in their pocket. NASA recently used them as on-board satellite computers, for instance, and more recently, the auto-maker Smart announced that the iPhone will serve as the actual instrument panel for the scooters of the future.
The fully electric Smart Scooter itself is unassailably cool, equipped as it is with airbags and blind spot monitoring. (It has a top speed of 28 mph, but that’s because Smart wants to be able to sell them to people who don’t have driver’s licenses.) The driver’s smartphone plugs into the handlebars, and runs a suite of apps that act as speedometer, range indicator, charge-point finder, and navigation system.
It will take some time before smartphone integration becomes universal, but hopefully automakers will realize the cost benefit of scrapping their own expensive proprietary systems in favor of smartphone consolidation and a lower manufacturing cost. And while for the moment smartphone integration generally refers to automobiles, we believe it’s only a matter of time before our hand-helds are fully connected. We’re already on our way with integration into climate control and remote control, and we can even control our very own drones with them.