Will smartphones be replaced by smart brains?

According to Statista, 2.1 billion people will own a smartphone by next year. That’s almost 1 in 3 people on the planet. Clearly, the smartphone is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have; it has become an essential part of our lives. Its rapid rise in popularity has only been matched by its blisteringly fast technological evolution.

So, what’s next?

What will the smartphone of the future look like? Will it simply be an even smarter version of today’s? Or could it be replaced by something completely different; something truly astonishing that is already being developed by Neuralink, a new company cofounded by Elon Musk?

Neurolink’s aim is to build computers into our brains using a ‘neural lace’. This could potentially morph the physical and digital world within our minds. If it works, smartphones could be replaced overnight with ‘smart brains’.

The impact would be, quite literally, mind-boggling.

Instead of talking to Alexa, perhaps we’d only need to think our commands? Instead of calling a friend, perhaps we’d exchange thoughts with each other over the WiFi? Instead of keeping an eye on the sat nav, maybe we’d be guided step-by-step with mental prompts?

And what sort of impact could this have on marketeers?

Few people would allow a constant stream of advertising messages piped directly into their brains. But maybe there’d be an opportunity for permission-based offers from preferential brands?

So, for example, when a shopper passes a favourite store they could receive a mental voucher code. Or, perhaps the voucher could be triggered the moment they simply thought about shopping?

The possibilities are, indeed, incredible.