Nothing Gets Between Me and My Smartphone

It’s a simple question posed on Gizmodo: Do you want to use your NFC-enabled smartphone to replace your car keys? The question is prompted by Hyundai’s Connectivity Concept, where not only can your phone unlock your car, it can also save and implement your personal “car profile,” including setting your radio station, seat adjustments, and climate controls.

It’s not a new question, certainly, but the more it gets asked the more it makes me realize how much we need wearable computers. Which then are just stepping stones to augmented humans.

This might seems like me hijacking the conversation, but hear me out.

Right now, we use our smartphone in a plethora of ways that make it necessary to keep on our person at all times: calls, texts, emails, maps, entertainment. And that even extends to when we’re at home, especially in a world where landlines are going the way of rotary phones.

And then there’s the whole mobile wallet concept that is still sputtering along, looking for a way to ignite the populace.

And it’s not just car keys. I’ve seen more commercials over the past few weeks for phones that control houses (usually as part of a of security system), so we’re getting closer to the point of evolving past those horrible clunky jagged pieces of metal.

So what does all that have in common?

Well, those are the three things I keep in my pocket at just about all times: my phone, my keys, my wallet. And the idea of unifying them all into a few square inches of thin glass and metal makes me extremely happy.

Of course, easy to use, easy to lose. The other thing they have in common is that they’re all pains and even dangerous to lose individually, much less all three at the same time. Just one pick-pocket, one washer cycle, one drop on the pavement, one dead battery.

So with all this important information and tools heading to our phones, the stakes are steadily rising to the point that smartphones need to be as unloseable as the pants we’re wearing.

And while that lowers the odds of us losing our phones, we can still lose our pants under the right (and sometimes very right) circumstances. So we need such vital elements of our life indistinguishable from ourselves, embedded into our actual bodies.

Like they say in the recent HTC Droid DNA campaign, “It’s not an upgrade to your phone, it’s an upgrade to yourself.”