This technology will soon be with us; certainly our children will be able to opt for a permanent phone implant. Would you go for it yourself?
No more struggling to find your phone when it rings, in fact nobody else would even hear it ring. People would soon become used to seeing others walking along seemingly talking to themselves.
Most of the size of a phone comes down to its battery and the screen/keyboard. The guts of any phone come down to one chip. The chip could be encased in an inert plastic and be inserted under the skin in the same way as dogs are chipped now.
Power could be either via an external battery (Plug yourself in at night?) or a long-life implanted one similar to the battery in today’s heart pacemakers. Another implant in your ear could communicate by radio waves with the phone implant.
Is There a Market?
Most people would quite happily lose a finger, provided the operation was painless than their permanent connection to the Internet. Losing a finger is something that is imaginable, whereas losing their connection to the Net, Facebook and contacts is just unimaginable. The closest people come to isolation from the Internet is when they have to turn off their phones when flying.
Would a phone implant become a rite of passage into adulthood? It probably would, unless we implanted babies in the delivery room. We have all seen Star Trek and the communicators that they use and there would be a massive initial market as everyone wanted one.
Price would be the big issue. As new technology the price would be astronomical which would make phone implants more desirable because of the status connotations that their high price-tag had. Celebrities would be seen talking on their implants, which would both confirm their celebrity status and boost the desirability of an implant among their fans.
Would it Work Commercially?
Today’s phone market is driven by biannual upgrades. An implant would last for longer than two years, so the annual number of new devices would decrease once everyone who wanted an implant had one.
Your invisible communication device is just that, invisible. There would be no obvious differences between this year’s model and last year’s one, so the status to be gained by constantly updating would disappear.
Pros and Cons of a Phone Implant
No more phones dropped down the toilet or lost. Nobody else could steal your phone, unless they chopped your arm off. Would machete attacks on public transport increase as thieves had to chop off victims’ arms to get their phones?
Replacing the battery would require regular visits to the shop. Would you let a mobile phone sales person cut you open to replace your battery?
There will be a group of people who will always prefer their communication the old-fashioned way and who will be quite happy to search for fixed line BT broadband packages, which will always be cheaper than 4G for everything.
How Long Until Universal Use?
Mobile phones took 15 years to become compulsory for children. If no operation was necessary a similar time scale could be expected. There would be the usual group of early-adopting young people, but people who like their iPhone status symbols would hold on to that technology for a while.
Not many parents would have their children implanted with phones because somebody would find a “health risk” and frighten parents away from this idea.
The adoption period could be as long as 50 years, but would then become ubiquitous and babies would receive implants along with their vaccinations. When parents themselves have had the implants all their lives they will have no problems with the thought of implanting their children, rather, it will be seen as progress and the modern way of communicating.