The Smart Phone is Eating the World

The day is coming when all I carry is my smart phone and Driver’s License. Mark Andreessen didn’t quite have it right. It’s not software but the smart phone that’s eating the world.

For me, it started 17 years ago when I bought a Kyocera 6035. That smart phone ate my day planner. Better yet if gave me email any time any place without having to get out my laptop and find a network connection. My phone’s next big meal came with the iPhone in 2007. I got mine in Oct of that year and haven’t carried a music player since. Subsequent iPhones ate my camera and my Mio610 portable GPS device. I got rid of my travel wallet in 2009 with advent of reliable e-tickets for airlines.

Last year I changed my wallet, from a trifold to a slim card case and a money clip. As most all transactions go to plastic, I find myself carrying my money clip less and less.

What’s left to eat? I’m using ApplePay more. I suspect we’re not far from eliminating credit cards. So that leaves my ATM, my Health Plan ID card, loyalty cards, and receipts.

Software has already eaten these things but not yet the smart phone; that’s what matters. What Andreessen misses with his software comment, is that the user experience trumps the automation. Sure it requires both to work, but I’m not dropping all my credit cards until it is easier not to have them.

Smart money should be on card-less ATMs, punch-less loyalty programs, paperless receipts and mobile-health. With that, life is but an iPhone and Drivers License. And whose to say we can’t eventually have card-less government ID.