By Sasha Dekleva, Professor of Information Systems – In the future, smartphones will move beyond being mere telephones to become essential computing and business devices. Let’s imagine all of the ways your smartphone could assist you on a typical day.
An accident slowed down traffic on the expressway, so your smartphone wakes you up 10 minutes early, five minutes after it starts the coffeemaker. Before you woke up, your smartphone checked you in for your business flight to Tampa, Florida, and retrieved the mobile boarding pass.
While packing your luggage, you ask the phone to read the weather forecast for your hometown and for Tampa. Before leaving, you request that the smartphone run through your schedule, which reminds you to download today’s work presentation to the phone. On the way to your car, you order the smartphone to guide you to your office using the fastest route.
After your morning presentation, your smartphone signals that you should leave to drive to the airport in 10 minutes because of traffic and flight adjustments. After you park at the airport, the smartphone registers the location and locks your car. Once in the terminal, your smartphone directs you to the gate. Although you have several unread books on your phone, you buy a novel in a paperback and pay for it using your phone.
As you wait to board the plane, you ask the phone to introduce you to Frank Still, the customer in Tampa. It has already accumulated Frank’s latest photo and information about his job, family, interests and hobbies, plus recent history of your company’s communications with him. Soon, your phone signals that boarding has started. You approach the gate and show the boarding pass on your phone.
After your arrival in Tampa, your smartphone leads you to your rental car, which you rented by signing the contract electronically in advance. At the exit, you show the renting pass and your smartphone guides you to your hotel.
At Frank’s company the next morning, he immediately recognizes you from his own smartphone research. After small-talk, you discuss Frank’s frustration with your company’s service. By using the recording function on your smartphone, your home office receives a transcript of the conversation in real time. Your associates research the issue, formulate alternatives, and signal to your smartphone that they are ready to virtually meet Frank using TelePresence equipment. In less than one hour, the milestones to resolve the service issues are agreed upon and documented.
After lunch with Frank, your phone confirms your return flight’s on-time departure and checks you in. As it guides you back to the airport, your phone dials the car radio to a local classical station. A thought that it deserves to be called a smartphone crosses your mind.Sasha Dekleva is Professor, School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems at DePaul University.