Future Smartphone Tech: Works in Progress and Some Wild Guesses
In just about every conversation you find yourself today, there’s hardly one where apps, smartphones or mobile tech aren’t talked about.
What the iPhone or iPad can do at present is merely a taste of things to come. The way advancements in mobile tech are taking place, it’s easy to make a few guesses so as to where it’s headed in the next six to ten years. So, we felt this is a good time to observe some ongoing trends while taking a few shots in the dark and try and determine what shape or form smartphone technology may take in the not too distant future.
We can’t promise how accurate this synopsis is although some of these “ideas” might end up becoming key focal points for smartphone manufacturers.
Flexible Screens Anyone?
Imagine this: you’re using a smartphone with a screen large enough to watch your favorite game while still being able to carry it around in your pocket. How? Screens do have the ability to be folded or unfolded, given the advancements in OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology.
This nearly thin-as-a-toothpick screen is even capable of projecting from both sides after it is folded – you could be checking your email on one side, as your friend checks out the latest Netflix stuff on the other.
With physical flexibility being a possibility now for smartphones, Nokia for example, is looking into developing a model that can be strapped on as a wrist watch and unfolded to be used as a conventional handset. Pretty rad, to say the least.
Unparalleled Voice Recognition
Voice control has stirred up a bit of a tech storm so to speak, thanks to headlines made by Siri. The concept of voice control or recognition isn’t exactly unheard of, and, has been around for years. However, earlier phones were not well equipped to take full advantage – the function could be best described as crude.
While research has led to certain refinements over the years, it has been nothing short of a painstaking task for manufacturers. Siri is worth mentioning again, as it has given way to a groundbreaking way of programming voice control. Regular voice recognition systems rely on sound waves to understand and acknowledge voice commands; Siri works by interpreting syntax and diction. A lot like how we folks recognize speech patterns. This form of NLUI (natural language user interface) is considered far more accurate and effective.
Siri has indeed set a high benchmark, and as smartphones continue to become more powerful and user-friendly, seamless voice recognition could very well be a reality. That, along with gestures might mean new possibilities for smartphone users.
3D Holographic Smartphones
Apple’s Retina Display really pushes all technological boundaries as it boasts a resolution even sharper than what the human eye is capable of viewing. Even then, most consumers and techies are ‘resolution junkies’ and just want more.
At the moment, there are a few 3D smartphones in the market like the Samsung AMOLED 3D or LG Optimus 3D. Well, where do we go from here?
If 3D wasn’t enough to whet the appetite, the next possible innovation could be holographic projections. How will this work? Earlier this year, Master Image 3D gave a sneak peek of their projection system which empowers smartphones to display holograms in 3D.
Let’s talk for a moment about the potential this has, which is indeed very promising. 3D displays can be integrated with movement mechanics as far as user interaction goes. For instance, you could resize photos by using hands to compress or pull holographic photos hovering just inches from you. Similarly, you could move objects around by simply grabbing them. Remember that Tom Cruise film ‘Minority Report’? I’m sure you’ve wanted to do that in real life at some point!
Back in 2010, the Samsung Galaxy Beam was released, which had an integrated DLP WVGA projector capable of projecting as much as a whopping 50 inches at 15 lumens. How can this be useful and/or fun? As smartphones continue to get incredibly powerful, they can be used as interactive gaming devices with no need of a TV screen or external display. Find a flat surface and you’re all set.
Why use a controller when you can use your voice or specific movements and gestures? Think about this: voice control and a smart camera can register your movements and voice commands to let you interact with objects projected on screen. This may be easier said than done, but what a super-cool way to enjoy your games, eh?
Some issues users could run into: the rate at which batteries are going to conk out or how efficient the integrated projector is at illuminating images, for example. Naturally, built-in projectors have to be confined within the walls of the smartphone, unless you’re okay with holding a show box-sized phone to your ear. As you might know, the smaller the projector, the less light it projects. However, we all know how eerily fast technology seems to be evolving – all such issues might get smoothly ironed out with newer models.
Print Out My What?
Okay, this one really is from the wild: since 3D printing technology is gaining vast recognition, why not use it to print out a custom-designed smartphone? Maybe even design inner components some day?
Nokia is the first one to step up on the starting podium: they’ve released a CAD file to let folks print out a Nokia Lumia 820 casing. Now picture this if you will: smartphone or even cell phone parts being available online, as you get to pick parts, colors and patterns you want for your model.
Based on the ridiculous growth potential present in the mobile tech industry, I think it’s fair to say we’re going to be seeing some very interesting possibilities in the coming years.
What’s your take on the future of smartphone technology? Let us know in the comments section below. To discuss all things mobile, particularly apps, get in touch with us directly.