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The Internet of Everything will make the smartphone obsolete

ZenithOptimedia and Performics study predicts the term 'mobile' will cease to refer to a handset

The Internet of Everything – the global connectivity of digital devices and all things electronic  – is set to offer consumers a mobile world of personalisation and convenience, but it is likely to make the smartphone obsolete, according to a futures study undertaken by ZenithOptimedia and Performics.

Published ahead of the Mobile World Congress, which took place from February 24 to 27 in Barcelona, Spain, and following on from ZenithOptimedia’s 2038 futures study, The Mobile of Everything: Why HyperConnectivity Means the End of the Smartphone report reveals that the new era of the internet will be profoundly mobile. However, it predicts that the term ‘mobile’ will eventually cease to refer to a handset and, instead, will be used to describe a world where a myriad of computers of all types and sizes are embedded into everything around us.

ZenithOptimedia and Performics argue that the Internet of Everything could be better termed as the Mobile of Everything, as our focus will shift to consumers that will be able to connect online wherever they are through objects and electronic hardware around them and through devices that are wearable – ie attached to their clothing and even embedded under the skin.

As we approach the era of the Mobile of Everything, the study adds that the smartphone will reach the peak of its importance and global adoption. ZenithOptimedia and Performics have identified five key developments that will drive the growth of the smartphone in the coming years, as we get closer to hyperconnectivity.

However, the study goes on to argue that once we reach hyperconnectivity and come to enjoy a data-fuelled world, which is powered by millions of sensors and screens embedded into surfaces around us, the smartphone, as we know it, will cease to have a purpose. ZenithOptimedia and Performics believe that, at this point, we will see a shift from smartphones to ‘smartcities’. Our cities of the future are set to embrace wireless sensor networks that will deliver data to everybody and enable us to control our lives in a way that is truly mobile.

In the era of the Mobile of Everything, the focus will be on consumers, and content that is curated and customised for them. In this mobile consumer-centric world, the media and marketing industries will inevitably move away from the concept of ‘media channels’.