One thing that communication technology bestowed upon humanity was mobile phones. They moved from being bulky gadgets with physical buttons to those with beautiful designing and powerful innards. With manufacturers now-a-days playing too safe and limiting themselves with only a few tweaks here and there, a stage of redundancy and stagnation has arrived.
Representational image of a smartphone. (Review and display of Gionee Elife E8 Smartphone on November 2, 2015 in New Delhi, India. Photo by Priyanka Parashar/Mint via Getty Images)
One thing that communication technology bestowed upon
More RAM, new Type-C connector, and Force Touch have already been introduced. Better cameras, more milliampere batteries, and fingerprint sensors too are passe. So what could the future hold for these extremely personal devices that could truly mean smartphone innovation? Here’s our take:
1. Power of VR, AR
Smartphones are the next step for manufacturers to test the scope of virtual reality and augmented reality in the consumer market. Other than standalone headsets like Google’s Cardboard, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, and Microsoft’s HoloLens, similar technology if used in smartphones holds a lot of promise.
Virtual Reality Headset For Mobile
Immersive experience with virtual reality through a supporting headset is what manufacturers are increasingly experimenting with.
When it comes to augmented reality, Google Glass is the best example to look at, albeit one that failed miserably. A future of AR handsets would, therefore, mean a situation where you simply point your phone’s camera to a street and it gives you live information related to the location including map, nearby places, etc.
2. Seamless Voice Integration
Forget cultural gaps, smartphone makers are working towards making their digital assistants smarter, capable of recognising and understanding various accents, and respond in a more human-like fashion. With artificial intelligence injected to these bots, one can expect a future where you never forget anniversaries, medicines, or everyday tasks on your way back home. It could also mean a constant voice guiding you which turn to take and when exactly to stop eating.
3. Battery Improvement
Despite really trying to pump in more milliampere in slim profiles, battery woes in smartphones remain largely unresolved. Researchers have been experimenting with graphene, solar energy, aluminium graphite, and even photosynthesis to find a solution that not only ensures longer battery life but also takes into account the time involved in charging it.
4. Biometric Security
Fingerprint sensors in smartphones as a standard are on the rise. Despite the effort to make users remember lesser number of passwords, there are many still stuck with the old pattern or number lock method. Mixing faster biometric recognition with artificial intelligence could make future devices more predictive and easy to use.
5. Power of Modular
While the world’s first modular phone is already in the market, the future lays in making modular phones not a different segment but one that becomes a standard. This will not only cut down on the millions lost in clearing up e-waste but also give the ultimate power of customisation into the hands of the users. From swappable cameras to replaceable processors and batteries, modular smartphones will move from being just another experimental project to reality. Meanwhile, flexible phones or phones with flexible displays will further cut down on repair costs for users.