The smartphone has been ubiquitous for a very long time(at least 18 months now) and most of us would rather part with our desktop computer or a girlfriend than give up a beloved iPhone or Android. A few folks are still clinging to Blackberrys, but there are clinics (known as Apple stores) where one can be treated for that.
In my vision of the future, virtually everyone has a smartphone or two. NFC (Near Field Communications - for mobile/digital wallets) has finally been widely adopted. Every retailer will have a mobile loyalty program, or several of them, and pretty much every human participates in reward programs of some kind. "Big data" will mean that every purchase in every country (including North Korea) is logged and every advertisement that pops up on a smart phone has been processed by the world's best algorithms and biggest super-computers. 95% of those advertisements still won't be relevant, and, unfortunately the most successful of those advertisements will be for "As Seen On TV" products. But, big data will keep a lot of people employed!
This obituary is from the future - the year is 2027. It is about an imaginary person named Bill Jones, who was well known for the records he set in the mobile loyalty space.
Obituary for Bill Jones - Legendary Mobile Loyalty Superstar
The mobile world is in mourning today, over the passing of a hero - Bill Jones! His untimely death comes as a shock to all.
While a young man, Bill obtained a record setting 100 Foursquare Mayorships within 30 days. He was the world record holder for most posts on Yelp, Zagat, Yahoo and Craigslist - a record he set over 10 years ago, and one that remains unmatched today.
Bill actually did not use cash for the last 8 years of his life - not even a dime (pennies were finally discarded in 2020, as were nickels in 2022, since so much of the population had trouble rounding to the nearest five cents). He either charged everything to a credit card, a loyalty program, or used his mobile wallet which processed it all through his chosen payment processors*.
Never one to ignore the social network, Bill leaves a Facebook page with over 250,000,000 friends ( a record for a non-Hollywood and non-sports celebrity) and over 180,000,000 Twitter followers. He reportedly had over 5,700 apps on his smartphone. His Twitter handle "@billjones124" which could be worth tens of millions of dollars at an auction, is going to be retired by Twitter. A number of Bill's followers are reportedly making and selling t-shirts with his handle on them. Those wishing to share their grief can do so with the hashtag #memorialforJones. The funeral will be available on YouTube. A virtual viewing of his wake is online already, and professional stills are available for download on Instagram.
Bill is survived by three children who are expected to be the recipients of his millions of frequent flyer miles and assorted points. The family has reported receiving condolences from over 50 major retailers and companies who operate loyalty programs, including American Express, Starbucks, and Capital One.
The cause of death was not cancer of the thumb, which Bill had successfully beaten several years before, instead, he died instantly, mid-tweet, as a result of stepping in front of a robotic bus. His Beats headphones were on, as well as Google Glasses, and it was not known if he did not hear the bus, did not see it or was just preoccupied. The uncompleted Tweet shall forever remain a mystery, as his phone was crushed. I'd like to think it was something special, like him sharing the news about a new discount from a mobile loyalty program.
Bill's source of income at the time of his death, and for many years prior, was from companies who paid him to post and tweet about "deals", to his huge fan base. He was one of the first full-time professional "poster-tweeters" and specialized in loyalty programs.
Ever the proponent of the digital life style, Bill will be cremated and his wish was for for his ashes to be incorporated in a custom designed case for the iPhone 37.
Bill will be missed. Briefly.
What will be in your obit?
Written by Craig Aberle
* (I am suggesting that every player in the payment processing industry, at every level, is going to be reaching into their own pockets and handing out shekels. Excess profits invite excess competition!! Even small retailers will be using multiple processors and it will be negotiated in nano-seconds with the consumer's digital wallet. Except in communist and totalitarian societies like China, Russia and North Korea where governments will finally realize that payment processing is the ultimate method of tax collection and will take over the industry in those countries. America's Congress will look on in awe and envy.)
Get The Bar Code News once a month, once a week or once a day. Subscribe here.