Good or Bad? Our Phones Will Soon Know More About Us Than Our Significant Others

It's hard to believe -- or maybe, not so -- but smartplanet.com is predicting that, within four years, our smartphones will be smarter than us.

Why?

The Web site quotes research firm Gartner, which has said that our smartphones, tablets and “phablets” will use "cognizant computing" — the next step in personal cloud computing — by 2017, "rendering them capable of predicting our next move based on what it knows."

Would you want your phone to know everything you do?  Some now can, just by interrelating your calendar with where you are and who you've spoken to, or texted.

“Smartphones are becoming smarter, and will be smarter than you by 2017,” smartplanet.com quotes Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “If there is heavy traffic, it will wake you up early for a meeting with your boss, or simply send an apology if it is a meeting with your colleague. The smartphone will gather contextual information from its calendar, its sensors, the user’s location and personal data.”

smartplanet.com adds that, by combining an array of features with mobile devices, including GPS trackers, cameras, apps and sensors that can improve and record our daily lives and browsing habits, "the addition of personal cloud computing gives applications the opportunity to acquire knowledge over time and predict what we need and want in real-time."

Before you start worrying about your partner's keyhole into your life, smartplanet.com says the first apps will, most likely, be menial ones, like creating a to-do list, or sending birthday messages (helpful for those of us who forget the actual birthdays themselves -- though, in my family, it's hard to do, as my husband's birthday is the day after mine and our son's, five days after that).

But by 2017, as cognizant computing develops to perform these tasks, "Data stored in the cloud will also allow devices to make sense of information gathered," writes Charlie Osborne.

Privacy may well be one of the drawbacks, experts agree.  As used as we are to posting our meals and the music we're listening to and what kind of shoes we're wearing today (well, some of us, anyway), we still may not like that our phone knows we're going to the gym after work when we tell our spouse we're working late (like, I confess, my husband sometimes does).

"Over the next five years, the data that is available about us, our likes and dislikes, our environment and relationships will be used by our devices to grow their relevance and ultimately improve our life," Milanesi said at smartplanet.com.

Will we really enjoy this?  Time will tell.




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