First introduced to the world in the late 20th century, the humble cell phone of the 90s has truly come of age and how! Packed with an array of innovative features and mind-boggling functionalities, the smartphone of today is no longer just a ho-hum mobile phone that aids two-way communication via calls and messages but a one of a kind mini-computer that has constantly evolved over the years to rapidly adapt to the dynamic consumer needs.
With a global projection of a staggering 2.87 billion smartphone users by 2020, it is not hard to figure out that smartphones are here to stay for a long run and the demand for these highly functional and perceptive phones will continue to rise in the years to come.
Present Use of Smartphones
Look around you and you will find this multipurpose mobile phone fulfilling the day-to-day needs of millions of consumers who cannot imagine their lives without the support of this integral device that has cleverly outdated many essential devices by incorporating their key functionalities. Come to think of it, few can compete with this all-inclusive gadget that not only allows you to click selfies and groupfies with confidence but also serves as an exhaustive entertainment repository that is replete with videos, apps, 3D games and what not! Moreover, the omnipresent smartphone has metamorphosed itself significantly to become a one-stop solution that lets you pay your utility bills, check your account balance, access e-books, create presentations, draft and send emails, book cabs, reserve railway and airline tickets, compute with spreadsheets and calculators, make video calls, surf the net, connect with loved ones across the globe, trace the nearest restaurant or hospital, remotely lock and unlock your car, control your television, monitor your health, predict the weather and engage in a host of other important activities…even when you are on the go!
What Does the Future Hold for Smartphones?
Considering that our handy smartphone already performs a plethora of wondrous functions, one would be tempted to believe that the high-performing smartphone has finally accomplished its utmost potential with no room for any improvement. However, reality cannot be further from the truth as the formidable smartphones are continuously undergoing upgrades to embrace the latest tools and technologies and it’s not long before they amaze us yet again with another set of compelling offerings that befit our contemporary lifestyles. While we wait for these hi-tech phones to take their own course to bring these cutting-edge innovations to the table, here’s a list of few of the desirable functionalities and features that are either in their nascent stages of development or are yet to bridge the gap between vision and actuality.
The Road Ahead for Smartphones – What Should We Expect In Future?
Beefier Battery Life – The limitless possibilities on our smartphones necessitate that they come with a sturdier battery life that lasts for days on end without the need for intermittent charging. Think of a situation where your phone’s battery simply refuses to run out even after hours of non-stop gaming or video streaming…simply matchless!
Wireless Charging – With talks of the upcoming iPhone 8 supporting wireless charging doing the rounds, we cannot help but dream of a day when our smartphones will no longer require physical tethering or power ports as unlimited wireless power will be a reality that will change the way we recharge our non-negotiable electronic devices. This will eliminate the need to preserve power in your phone’s battery and will bring to the fore the prospect of devising smaller batteries that occupy less space which, in turn, can be effectively utilised to factor in other key features. At the same time you should also know the advantages and disadvantages of wireless phone charging.
Heightened speech interpretation and recognition capabilities – With the advent of intelligent personal assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant, searching and retrieving information is way simpler than it was ever before. The future holds promise of further research and advancement in the realm of your smartphone’s ability to support individualized voice recognition, language translation and a natural language user interface that allows you and your mobile phone to execute a variety of voice-based tasks that include asking questions, sourcing facts and figures, locating directions without having to type laborious texts, responding to user queries, suggesting recommendations and executing user commands. Just say the magical words of “Ok Google” or “Hey Siri” and sit back and relax as your smartphone is sent into a frenzy of action.
More intuitive than ever – “Hurry, you have 15 minutes to go before the con call starts at 4:00 pm”, “It’s time for your evening computer class. Don’t forget to carry the umbrella since it’s cloudy outside.” Just in case you thought that we are indulging in some self-talk here, we are not! We just provided a sneak peek into all that is in store for you in the near future as your futuristic smartphone gears up to delight you with many more of such friendly reminders and helpful forewarnings in the form of your very own skilled and intuitive virtual assistant – one who always has your best interests in mind and who strives hard to learn from your distinct usage patterns to provide you with appropriate and bespoke suggestions that are uniquely customised to you!
Impressive artificial intelligence capability that defies set norms – It won’t be wrong to say that a hitherto unforeseen AI revolution is waiting to engulf the world of smartphones in the coming years. While AI is already at play in our smartphones with the likes of Google Photos that exploits AI along with machine learning to detect human faces in a picture and automatically store similar looking ones into specific folders, AI, as a technology, is yet to be fully tapped with respect to its vast potential that is all set to shatter our perceived notion of all that AI is capable of doing when integrated into our mobile phones.
In a discussion forum that sought the opinion of users regarding what all they would like their smartphones to do in future, someone remarked, “When I am drunk, it should ask me, “Are you sure you want to call this person?””
Such statements might be figments of imagination for now but it’s hard to dismiss them in the near future. With the ongoing evolution of AI, these incredible thoughts may very well be a reality in future with the emergence of brainy ‘superphones’ that will be empowered with impressive decision-making and predictive skills to analyse and decode user behaviour patterns seamlessly!
In-built presentation tools – Since these sophisticated devices are frequently used for office work, hence, more and more smartphones may be manufactured with in-built projectors to enable you to use your phone to setup presentations even while you are on the move or when you do not have access to a meeting room to project your content.
Transparent/Flexible/3D screens – Predicted to become a reality by 2023, transparent smartphones have been on the radar of the technology enthusiasts for quite a while now. The future holds the possibility of smartphones with transparent screens that are VR friendly and generous to the point of a canvas-like display for a rich cinematic experience.
Smartphones with 3D screens are already creating waves within the mobile-friendly community with smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG and Motorola bringing 3D phones to the market. As the technology matures in the coming days, it may give way to holographic projections for an unparalleled user experience.
The future smartphone will soon double up as your secretary.
Simultaneously, there is an increased likelihood that the ultra-slim smartphone of today will probably bid adieu to the bezel completely and bezel-less displays will become the new normal to promote immersive viewing in the comfort of your homes. Multi-tasking will also be easier and superlative multimedia extravagance will no longer be a wishful thinking! With OLED technology giving rise to the probability of foldable screens in the days ahead, it won’t be surprising if we come across a wearable smartphone in future – one that resembles a wrist watch in its look and feel and imitates a phone-cum-personal computer with respect to its functionalities.
Amplified AR Capability – By bringing virtual reality close to the real world through use of computer-generated graphics, sound, video and GPS data, AR allows you to capture live video imagery by pointing your phone’s camera at the surrounding places, buildings etc. and then presenting you with relevant information pertaining to the live views in the form of information overlay on your live screen. The ‘smarter than ever’ smartphones of tomorrow are poised to boost Augmented Reality (AR) to dizzying heights by sharpening their existing ‘live view’ recognition accuracy. So, no more browsing the net or texting your bestie for expert advice on the closest museum or cafe when AR can do the trick for you in a jiffy!
As evident from the above, the future of smartphones is both indicative and unpredictable. While we may try to pre-empt the road ahead by analysing the existing technology trends and user preferences, the fact remains that one cannot predict their way forward with certainty, especially in context to the fast-paced mobile industry that is ridden with avant-garde technological innovations and evolutions. One can only hope that these pocket-sized devices will continue to make life seamless for us with new-age features that blend connectivity, productivity, usability, functionality, lifestyle elements and convenience in equal measures.
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