The technology is on the way to make those phrases obsolete, to throw them right in with "I would have called, but I didn't have a quarter," "I couldn't get a hold of you because your phone was busy," "I couldn't find a pay phone," and "I can't find the number because I don't have a phone book."
Pictured below, what we use today to write messages, take pictures, watch videos, read books, buy items, pay bills, retrieve information, and play games. Among other things, such as actually talking to someone located elsewhere.
|Ramsbury: telephone box, © Chris Downer|
I think the end result will be a merging of several technologies, the first of which is "wearable, depth-sensing perception." We're also seeing more of these sorts of advances with contact lenses supporting alternate reality. Soon the two will merge, creating the first non-device-centric communication ability.
The next data point in this progression is implantation. It's bound to happen. We're seeing how this can be integrated with surgically implanted intraocular lenses. Now imagine this, but fused with cellular phone, Internet, and GPS technology. You'd quite literally have the virtual world available in front of you at all times. Your phone would be with you at all times, because it would be a part of you, accessible with the touch of an imaginary button.
Of course, not everyone likes that. Many would love to be able to escape from connection, to disappear into the woods on an extended camping trip, or go on vacation, without the need for a constant link to home, work, friends, or family. Like it or not, we're connected, and that connection will only get stronger.
It's the future of communications, the forefront of the virtual world. The only question is, how soon will it get here? How soon will that connection fuse with us, allowing us to skip the devices and connect on our own? Do we even want that? And if we don't, how long will it be before we do want it?
I'd guess not long at all.