Have you ever thought about what exactly is a selfie? Of course, we all know it’s a photo you make of yourself. But is there something more? Can a selfie become more than just a snapshot for remembering the moments or fishing for comments? A research from Sony Mobile shows that selfies might become much more than they are now. They may become applicable in banking, shopping, healthcare and many other situations.
Sony Mobile and Futurizon conducted a research and surveyed 6,500 European consumers in the UK, France, Germany and Spain. The results show that the consumers are ready to embrace a selfie as a tool in plenty of situations. They see a “vast number of potential applications” of selfies in the next five years.
Michio Maruhashi, Marketing Strategy at Sony Mobile, explains that the company has have always seen photography as a key function at the heart of the smartphone. Their phone cameras keep advancing, so they were interested in finding out if consumers are ready to embrace selfies as a tool for various uses.
Futurologist Dr Ian Pearson worked with Sony Mobile to explore a number of sectors where selfies could be used in near future. The results were different, from comical to serious and safety-oriented. For example, over one third of consumers would feel more secure if banks used selfies as passwords. Sony Mobile has issued a report with the survey results, and these are the ten top ways consumers believe the selfies may evolve in the next five years:
1.Dating: This implies taking a selfie with your date to find out what they really think. You could do it by observing the signs such as their pupil dilatation or body language. I think paying attention to their body language while you talk to him or her, without taking the selfie, would be more helpful. But that’s just me.
2. Medical: Over a quarter of people in the survey would prefer to see their general practitioner via a selfie or video call, in the first instance. The Sony’s report states that medical AI (Artificial Intelligence) can even diagnose plenty of conditions remotely, by observing the patients and listening to them explaining their symptoms. And I couldn’t agree more with this application of selfies. If this ever comes to life, I promise, I’ll finally start using that front camera.
3. Banking for the selfie generation: Nearly half of 25-34 year olds would feel more secure if accessing their bank through a ‘selfie password’. Now, the questions is: wouldn’t anyone who has your photo be able to access your bank account? I don’t think this is completely secure, and you?
4. In leisure: Around half of surveyed people would like to try a ‘selfie coaster’ – a rollercoaster that puts you in control of capturing your experience on the ride. Sounds like fun.
5. In a gym / fitness: In this case, selfies that work with AI would capture body monitoring. They would be testing heart rates and even suggest how to improve on technique and how accurately you are performing certain moves.This could be particularly useful if you do workout at home and there’s no gym trainer to control you.
6. Made to measure clothes: This application would include taking a 3D body image for made-to-measure clothes. Bellus 3D camera scans face and body in 3D, so this can actually become applicable quite soon.
7. In retail: This is in a way similar to the previous use. It suggests using your smartphone camera to try on different outfits suited to your body shape, at the touch of a button. This, again, could be one of the applications of the Bellus 3D I mentioned above. And it could be a great thing for those who hate shopping and trying out clothes in changing rooms.
8. Social currency: This includes paying for entry to the cinema or a tourist attraction through a selfie. It would be connected to the banking account where your selfie would be the password. Also, taking a selfie and uploading it on social network could give you a discount.
9. Robots: This implies using your smartphone to control drones or robots to take selfies from extreme and dangerous locations. The robot would be a stand-in and replace the robot with your picture. So, hopefully less people will get themselves killed because of selfies.
10. Home: Lastly, the surveyed people suggested selfies to secure and access homes and cars. It would not only include taking a selfie, but doing it from a particular angle and with a particular facial expression, for increased security. I suppose this way it could work better for that bank security mentioned above. Although, you have to pay attention what kind of selfies you post online.
These are some of the potential uses European consumers suggest for selfies. As you can see, some of them are viable, some… not very likely. And some of them are already applicable. Do you agree with these suggestions? Which ones would you add? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.