What Comes After The Smartphone/Tablet/Laptop?

I just skipped a phone upgrade cycle for the first time since I got on the smartphone train in 2009 or so. The reason wasn't because of the money - although, it probably doesn't make sense to burn $200-$500 every 2-3 years just to "keep up" with the 5th/6th/7th different version of the device that defines your personal identity and validates that you're your own unique and special snowflake or whatever.

And it wasn't from a lack of effort - I actually ordered a new phone and carried it around for a week and liked it quite a bit. Still, I returned it. The reason: it was only about 1% better than my old phone, which still worked just fine, even if it is literally worn and punked-up around the edges. Just about the only difference was the Nexus 6P is bigger, but bigger isn't necessary better. In fact I had a tough time reading the thing with one hand, and I'm not a small man. Why not keep the old one?

I think that we're at the point at which newer and newer phones / computers don't really do anything significantly better or different than they did 2-3 years ago. Apple and Android devices both look about the same, have the same applications layers in neat icons on the screen, sound and work about the same. Is cramming another 1,000 pixels into a 5-inch piece of glass going to radically change my user experience?

We probably reached peak smartphone and I didn't notice until now. Forgive me for being a little slow. There probably is also a commentary in here about consumerism and that need to "keep up" with the latest and greatest, concluding with how empty and sad that is when you look back on it.

The point of all of this is Google is working on breaking us out of the laptop/smartphone/tablet paradigm (prison) we've built for ourselves. The goal:

"Computers of the future, Duarte says, will fade away into the background, creating a 'mesh' that is more human and less disruptive to our lives."

I find networked connectivity to be a very compelling concept. Like, my refrigerator talking to my grocery store and/or local beer vendor. My heating system to my oil company.

I wish them luck. Instead of making incremental (though useful) improvements to battery life, screen size, and interface, I hope that engineers out there are focusing on what comes next.

Google's Vision For the Future of Design