apple-1867461_960_720You don’t have to be John Koetsier, self-described “Journalist, Analyst, Futurist, Dreamer” to realize that mobile now dominates much of what people do, see, watch, and think.

But according to a host of influencers, commentators, and futurists, we “ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.” Though many emerging technologies — from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) — got a lot of press in 2016, mobile still has untapped opportunities we may witness in 2017.

Koetsier asked a coterie of experts and influencers including Bryan Kramer, Joel Comm, Tamara McCleary, Travis Wright, Hillel Fuld, and Robert Scoble what they think is around the bend.

One topic that emerged immediately was the iPhone 8, still in design and development, which could be the smartphone that incorporates all the new tech (AI, VR, AR) people have been talking about. Others see Chatbots as an emerging trend. Then there’s tech guru Tamara McCleary, who believes 2017 could be the breakout year for mobile to connect with the Internet of Things (IoT) in a big, big way.

The thing is this: smartphones have gone way beyond being “phones” to encompass everything about our lives. It’s where our friends are listed, information is stored, photos are archived. It’s how we look things up, hail a ride, shop, pay bills, communicate with co-workers, family, and friends. It’s how we entertain ourselves — whether it’s by reading via the web, listening to music, watching a video, or checking in with social media.

In other words, as experts might put it, print is dying and there’s a lot of dust on the TV. And cord-cutting? That’s progressing exponentially, especially as millennials make decisions that default to mobile rather than increasingly obsolete cords and cables.

Could it be that the word “desktop” might fade from the lexicon? The experts think so. Ask yourself this: when’s the last time you even used the word?

Do you think it seems like everyone is on their phones half the time? Expect that to nudge closer to most of the time. Analyst and tech journalist Stewart Rogers believes we’ll spend more time on mobile in 2017, without a doubt. And we’ll spend more money via mobile.

“In 2016, mobile directly influenced $500 billion in retail sales in the U.S. alone,” Rogers said. “New data tells us that 80 percent of consumers now turn to a smartphone before they turn to a human for assistance. And none of this is slowing down in 2017.”

Koetsier cites an interesting prediction from Chetan Sharma, a 22-year veteran of the mobile ecosphere who has an interesting take one potential 2017 development: “Mobile is everywhere and in everything to a point we will stop using the word mobile.”

What will we say? Not phone. Not mobile. Maybe instead of saying we have to check our mobile, we’ll just be saying we need to check in with our lives.

To read more about the predictions Koetsier elicited from his future-predictors, go here.