Selfies could impact security, health and finance sectors

From fad to technological phenomenon, selfies are no longer just a picture

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Selfies could impact security, health and finance sectors
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  January 26, 2017

Research by Sony Mobile has highlighted that consumers are ready to embrace selfies as a tool for potential applications in the banking, shopping and healthcare sector.

Sony Mobile and futurologist Dr Ian Pearson explored various sectors which could benefit from selfies. They discovered that the potential applications could include theme parks building ‘selfie-coasters' that let adrenaline-junkies capture their experience on the rides, or shoppers using it as a ‘virtual personal assistant' to try on multiple outfits.

Dr Ian Pearson, futurologist and creator of the Future of Selfies report, added: "Through this report, it has been fascinating to chart the evolution of selfies and smartphone photography with the team at Sony Mobile. But even more encouraging has been the response from consumers, who have shown they are open to the range of future uses for selfies and video calls."

"The results clearly show that selfies are well on their way to transitioning from frivolous fad to technological phenomenon, and provide food for thought to a number of industries. The potential is huge, and it will be exciting to watch this unfold over the coming years."

Jason Smith, vice president, Middle East & Africa at Sony Mobile Communications, said: "The project has given us a real sense of how selfies and video calls have evolved, and why they could be set to transform so many different sectors. We have always seen photography as being a key function at the heart of the smartphone and have already advanced front camera technology in our Xperia XZ for superior quality photos, so it's incredibly exciting to find that consumers are ready to embrace selfies for such a wide range of future uses that enhance our everyday lives."

The report identified the top 10 ways consumers believe selfies could evolve in the next five years:

1.  Socialising: Taking a selfie with your companions to find out what they really think
2.  Medical: Over a quarter of people would prefer to see their GP via a selfie or video call, in the first instance
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'
4.  In leisure: Around half of thrill-seekers would like to try a ‘selfiecoaster' - a rollercoaster that puts you in control of capturing your experience on the ride
5.  In a gym / fitness: selfies that work with AI (Artificial Intelligence) to capture body monitoring e.g. testing heart rates and even suggesting how to improve on technique and how accurately a move is being performed
6.  Made to measure clothes: taking a 3D body image for made-to-measure clothes
7.  In retail: using your smartphone camera to try on different outfits suited to your body shape, at the touch of a button
8.  Social currency: paying for entry to the cinema or a tourist attraction through a selfie
9.  Robots: Using your smartphone to control drones or robots to take selfies from other or extreme locations
10. Home: Using selfies to secure and access our homes and cars

The report and accompanying research, released in conjunction with Futurizon and based on a survey of 6,500 European consumers in the UK, France, Germany and Spain.

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