What will be the future of Smart Phones
Smart Phones of the 21st century have become so advanced that they could easily be called 'mini computers'. These handheld wonders of technology are capable of taking photos, recording videos, providing GPS navigation, surfing the web and sending emails with a tap of a finger. Smart Phones successfully combine the functionality of many different gadgets and have even managed to push out certain stand-alone devices from everyday use (e.g entry-level digital cameras). They are fitted with touch screens which improve natural interaction with the user and support a whole array of wireless standards which enable the user to stay online both at home and on the go.
An excellent example of how far these devices have come is the Samsung Galaxy S3. The S3 has a 1.4 GHz quad core processor, up to 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of flash memory, and a Li-ion 2,100 mAh battery which can be charged wirelessly and power the phone for 900 hours! (n.b. standby mode). If you had listed these specifications to someone just 5 years ago, they would think that you are actually talking about a brand new desktop computer! Modern smart phones are smart enough as is, but you can expand their functionality even further by adding a whole myriad of different mobile phone accessories available on the market.
Bluetooth headsets, all kinds of charging docks/pads, memory cards which add extra storage space, custom skins and smart phone cases, car-mounts for GPS navigation, external foldable keyboards, wireless charging plates, wireless hi-fi speakers and solar chargers, are just the "tip of the iceberg". Nevertheless, the technology relentlessly marches on, and there will always be a space for improvements. Considering that the possibilities of mobile operating systems are virtually endless (because programmers can always add extra code), we could say that the future of smart phones depends on hardware manufacturers and creative designers. So, what lies ahead?
Well, it's not that easy to predict the future, but we can outline some general trends and new technologies which have already started to take shape within the industry.
1. 3D screens and holograms
As the current 2D screen technology reaches its peak with ultra high screen resolutions (e.g. retina display) that surpass the performance of the human eye, the big players in the industry have started experimenting with 3D screens. The LG Optimus 3D and Motorola MT810 spearhead this new trend. Companies like 'MasterImage 3D' have also proposed combining 3D screen with built-in projectors to achieve functional holographic projections. This means that you might be resizing your photos with your bare hands sooner that you think.
2. Built-in projectors
Up until now, projectors were just too big to fit inside a mobile phone. Thanks to miniaturization and other advances, smart phones of the near future should be fitted with mini projectors. Projectors could actually remove the Achilles heel of every smart phone on the market - relatively small display for some applications. Samsung has already proved that the technology is capable of projecting up to 50" at 15 Lumens with its 'Galaxy Beam' feature. This means you'll be able to play video games and watch movies on any flat surface in your home.
3. Augmented reality
Augmented reality is actually an umbrella term for a set of technologies which combine computers with natural human senses (usually sight). This technology is then used to present useful information for improved decision making. For example, you could turn on the camera and point your smart phone down the street to get an information overlay about the nearest restaurants down the street.
4. Flexible screens
Thanks to advances in OLED technology, smart phones of the near future could be fitted with flexible screens which could be folded and unfolded when needed. A flexible screen could allow the user to surf the web on a 21" screen while commuting to work.