This week Marc Andreessen (co founder of Netscape/tech. investor extraordinaire) wrote an interesting article entitled Software is eating the world. In the article, Marc mentioned that in 10 years we could see 5 Billion smartphones on this planet.  Wow.  Smartphones are eating the world too…

Go read the article if you haven’t yet; it is a good one.

In 10 years, smartphones and smart mobile software will certainly do a much better job of gauging context to make our collective user experiences much richer.  What do I mean by context?  Forrester defines “context” as “the sum total of what your customer has told you and is experiencing at his moment of engagement.”

Smartphones are going to know a lot more about you in the future.  I’m already navigating, shopping, reading books, depositing checks, checking in, thanking people, scanning documents, etc. with my phone.   Imagine what services will be developed just within the next couple of years.  With the addition of entirely new detection sensors and advanced software, the smartphone is going to automatically know what you are experiencing within your environment as you interact with brands in store–& provide a lot more context overall.  Combine this with augmented reality & we’ll be seeing some crazy stuff in 10 years.  Hold on to your seat…

But that’s all just stuff that will make life a bit easier for the rich folks (us)

We’re often so concerned with advancing technology for consumers in the minority on this planet (the developed world) that we lose sight of the massive impact low cost smartphones will have on the poor. 

With low cost smartphones penetrating the developing world, in 10 years you will see incredible opportunities for improved health care, education, economic development, etc. among the poorest at the bottom of the pyramid.  Katrin Verclas, recently named one of the most influential women in tech. by Fast Company,  is extremely excited about potential for mobile to drive development.  She believes that the dramatic rise of mobile access at the bottom of the pyramid will be game changing.  Check out the non profit she founded called MobileActive for more on this (here is a link to the blog).

What changes are you expecting in “Era of the Smartphone” over the next 10 years?