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The End of the Smartphone?

It’s time to start thinking about what’s next

2 min read
The End of the Smartphone?
Illustration: Greg Mably

Recently I was listening to a talk—ostensibly about the future—in which the smartphone was pictured as an evolutionary end point that would last indefinitely. I thought, Nothing is forever, and forever comes very quickly in technology. I started to worry about what would come after the smartphone, and what the end of the smartphone’s dominance would mean to the electronics industry.

The smartphone has been an incredible success, both in technological and business terms. I often think of it as the pinnacle of engineering brilliance. There is an entire ecosystem of parts, systems, software, even design philosophy, that has built up around it. Anything that can be made from smartphone technology can be made quickly, easily, and inexpensively. It has been the most successful electronics product ever.

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
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Close up of a finger with a clear square on it.
University of Florida
DarkGray

What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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