Every year, Facebook holds a huge event. Founder Mark Zuckerberg uses this opportunity to discuss what the biggest social media platform in the world is going to focus on in the year to come. He is an ambitious man, with big visions, and they don’t all necessarily come to fruition after being announced. That being said, Zuckerberg’s pronouncements are a fairly reliable indicator of the direction the tech world is headed. According to his comments at F8, we’re rapidly headed toward a future where smartphones won’t be as central to our everyday existence as they are right now.
Don’t get excited: this doesn’t mean we’re all unplugging and you can go back to the blissful days when no one had to worry about SEO. Instead, the digital world is continuing to expand into new and different devices. Some of these we’ve seen before – think web-enabled glasses and contact lenses that are capable of displaying information – and others are more fantastical, such as the suggestion that one could summon a virtual chessboard to appear on an empty table.
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Digital assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Alexis, are already in many homes. These devices allow people to access information on the web without using their phones. Forbes recently highlighted other smart devices, including lighting, coffee makers, and vacuums, that automate everyday tasks. Every new technology contains monetization potential: a smart coffee maker may well be the ideal marketing channel for a new brand of java trying to find fans.
We don’t know yet how the post-smartphone world is going to function, but it’s a good idea to begin thinking about it now. Zuckerberg is the first to admit that this change will take time. In this Newsweek article the head of Facebook talks about a 10-year road plan to bring the tech industry to this point. The world of 2027 may be a very interesting place indeed!