Beware the Exploding Smartphone

Disruptive technologies and products win by changing the rules of the game. They reset expectations. They break business models. They sink entire industries. They blow stuff up. The smartphone is one one such technology.

The disruptive nature of the smartphone may not be immediately obvious, but as acceptance reaches critical mass we’ll start to see the effects. Consider the list of devices, products, and services that smartphones already duplicate or replace.  (And imagine the world twenty years from now when a super-smartphone fits in a shirt button or in a subdermal implant.)

Replaceable/Replaced by smartphones:

Alarm clock
Assisted listening device
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
Bar code scanner
Content: printed books, newspapers, reference materials, stock tickers, school books
Credit card reader
Game controller
Egg timer
Event tickets
GPS device
Guitar tuner
Handheld game system
Identification card
Lost child locator/tracker
Makeup Mirror
MP3 player/CD player
Musical instruments/devices: Theramin, keyboard, drum pad, synthesizer, mixing studio
Notebook PC
Personal security device (“alarm”)
Photo album
Photo and video editor
Pocket pager
Pocket translator
Point and shoot camera
Police scanner
Remote control device
Road map
Radio: broadcast radio, emergency/weather radio
Security card
Store coupons
Strobe light
Telephone/answering machine
Tour guide
Voice memo recorder/dictating machine
Walkie Talkie (PTT)/emergency communication device
Web cam/video phone
Wireless router

…and many more. Can you add to this list? Leave a comment.


Added 1/15/2012…

Biometric scanner (Fingerprint and iris scanner)
Heart-rate monitor
Hearing tester
Steering controller

Can you think of more?

Added 9/13/2021

Video/film/slide projector
Health monitor/Step counter
Payment method
Taxi/rideshare dispatcher
Stopwatch/lap timer
Bank teller
Music sequencer
Hearing aid/ambient sound amplifier
Flight controller for drones

Can you think of more?