For some, selfies are a form of self-expression. Others find them annoying. But one thing is certain: they won't go away anytime soon. A Sony-commissioned study has found that the top ten future uses for smartphone cameras will include banking, shopping, healthcare and dating. The study finds that over a third of consumers would feel more secure if banks used selfies as passwords and a quarter would prefer to see their general practitioner via a selfie or video call than in-person.

The study was undertaken by futurologist organization Futurizon with the market research company OnePoll who conducted data research and surveyed 6500 people across the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

The report identified the top ten ways consumers believe selfies could be used in the next five years:

  1. Dating: Taking a selfie with your date 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

Dr Ian Pearson, Futurologist and creator of the Future of Selfies report said, “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.”

Most of the selfie applications described above seem technologically possible today. So, if there's a market for them, we'll probably be able to use them at some point in the short to medium term.

Would you be interested in using selfies in any of the ways listed above? Let us know in the comments.