Charles Arthur: ‘The future is in your phone’

Have you ever wondered what the next big thing will be? Well, according to The Guardian journalist Charles Arthur, it can be found in your mobile phone. Mobile is the most important platform for the next big thing.

Charles Arthur at TEDxHilversum 2015

There are three simple ways to describe the ‘big thing’: It appeals to the young, it puzzles the older generation, and it employs the new possibilities in your phone.

To understand the next big thing we need to look back at two previous big things. The first: text messaging. Once children and teens got their hands on a mobile phone, it became big. But then, the second, selfies, took over and took its peak in 2014. It’s now the ultimate proof of proving you’re in the moment and it fits perfectly into the growing obsession with the self in this era.

Charles Arthur: earlier best thing

Charles Arthur: earlier best thing

So, what’s going to take over next?

Artificial Intelligence. It still has a lot of hidden capabilities but our phones are getting smarter and smarter and will be used in more aspects of our lives. Like health for example; your phone knows when you sleep, when you run, when you’re heart rate is high. So why not use it to diagnose your own health issues?

It is here already

Arthur stated the following: The next big thing is a puzzle, not a mystery. What’s the difference between the two? In mystery only one person knows the answer, but a puzzle can be solved by everyone. All the pieces of the puzzle are there, looking at you.

So the next big thing is waiting somewhere, laying there to be discovered. The word for the next big thing may already be out there, just like the word selfie. We just haven’t solved the puzzle yet.

Want to find the next big thing? Arthur gave us a tip: it can be found in your mobile phone.

Joffrey Vermeule and Lindsay Riley

Photos by Mark Janssen and Willemijn van der Eijk

Here is a little sneak peak into the talk.