And now your cell phone is a hotel room key? Cool!

I’ve had a smartphone for only about six months, but it’s dramatically opened my eyes to the future of technology.

According to MSNBC, a Clarion Hotel in Stockholm will be replacing their room keys with temporary mobile phones for guests.  A chip is embedded in the phone so that, when you hold it up to the door, it opens!  Huffington Post reports that the registration process could be cut out, replaced with entering in information on the phone itself.  Security would also be easier because room access could be cut from the phone immediately, says Yahoo.  The technology is being tested at the Swedish hotel before they expand to others.

This is awesome.

And it means so much more for the future, too.  In futuristic movies, doors are opened by pushing a handprint on a panel or a voice command – it’s even easier!  One button on a phone and you could open your hotel room, and soon your house front door, and then unlock your car.

Other things I believe will be true in the near future:
1. Cable TV and renting movies will cease to exist as we know it now.  will be  All video content will be delivered online and your big-screen TV will actually be a large computer monitor.
2. GPS, flashlights, iPods, and more will all be replaced or combined with your cell phone.  I don’t have a GPS in my car, but my iPhone tells me where I am and any directions I need. Power goes out? I turn on the flashlight app.
3. The cost of video games will go down, but people will have to pay for video game subscriptions to providers as they’ll be downloaded, instead of bought in a physical store with a disc or cartridge.  Interactive online gaming will continue to grow as the industry flourishes with improved systems and greater wi-fi accessibility.
4. Credit cards will no longer be physical cards, but rather applications on a phone that you can use to scan bar codes and pay for it.
5. Satellite radio will die out (or be forced to merge with other content providers), and pay-per-download will lose steam as Rhapsody and other paid music subscription services will become the predominant form of getting music, since increased free wi-fi availability will allow users to connect to these services anywhere, anytime.

It’s a Brave New World out there.  And if you’re still thinking “gosh, I wouldn’t know what to do with a smartphone” just tell yourself that in 10 years you won’t know what to do without one.  Maybe sooner.

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