Since they were released, smartphones have been setting new standards for innovative communication and more, compared to the conventional feature phones. The innovations include advanced functions like web browsing, multimedia entertainment, games etc. – similar to mini-computers, but miniature enough to fit in your pocket! Smartphones were introduced in the market about two decades ago as the substitute to mobile phones which carry only the primary function of two-way communication by text or calls. The smartphones of the modern era have other extended proficiencies including built-in high-quality camera lenses, mobile apps that support productivity, video-streaming as well as connectivity that allow millions to stay in touch while on the go.
What should we assume to see in the advancement of smartphones in the future, let’s say the next five to ten years? This is possibly hard to predict with accuracy due to the exponential advancement in tech being made every day. But we can observe the prevailing trends and make some guesses on where smartphones are heading. So we put our thinking caps on and brought up a list of wonderful, innovative and useful features that future devices, such as the iPhone 22 and Galaxy S28, may come equipped with in the coming years to pass.
TRENDING FEATURES TO EXPECT:
1) 360 degree cinematic view:
If you have heard of the Yezz Sfera, you would have a good idea of what a 36-degree camera is all about. This Android-powered smartphone with an equipped 360-degree camera was on display at CES 2016, but received quite little fanfare despite its revolutionary USP.
We can hope that the idea will gain attraction, because the concept of bringing immersive 360-degree video to the smartphones is exhilarating. Anyone could make explorable holiday snaps, fascinating action clips or primary VR experiences for instance Google Cardboard.
However, the actual video quality will need to be upgraded from current levels - clips shot on the Yezz Sfera are a bit inconsistent while moving around - but with such glitches resolved, mobile 360-degree cameras could be the major thing in small-scale shooting tech since the GoPro.
2) Real-time translation
Skype has got this tech in processing to a certain degree. Skype for Windows has the ability to translate into English, French, German, Italian and Spanish nearly as quickly as the language is being spoken.
Such feature would be picture-perfect for smartphones as well. There wouldn’t be the chance of any potential business deal being derailed by language barriers, or an imperiled traveler being unable to call for local aid. The difficulties of hiring a cab or the emergency services in a foreign country would end.
Prompt or near-instant translation wouldn't only come in handy for distance calls. Anyone in a face-to-face conversation with somebody speaking a different language could merely whip out their phone, call the other member, and resume the conversation over their handsets.
3) Flexible displays:
Flexible screen models have been around for years. LG introduced the most impressive prototype at CES this year, displaying a paper-thin 18in display that can be rolled up like paper.
Smartphone design has focused upon making everything thinner and lighter, so we can hope to see flexible screens being introduced with mobile devices in the distant future. If the bodywork could cease up as well, it would turn the 7.1mm iPhone 6S into looking like a paving slab.
In fact, the initial bendable smartphone is already present. The ReFlex, which is built by researchers at Queen's University in Canada, runs Android 4.4 KitKat and encompasses a curving screen just like LG. It's an early prototype, with some irregular edges, but it establishes hope for a consumer-ready device in the near future.
4) Thermal imaging:
Thermal imaging already exists thanks to the recently announced Cat S60, but we hope that big firms such as Samsung and Apple will take this technology to future smartphones.
Perhaps it can be best suitable for military personnel and outdoor sport enthusiasts, but the list of potential uses can be endless. As Cat elaborated to V3 ahead of the S60's launch this week, the smartphone's FLIR camera module can let you know when a sausage is ready on the barbeque on account of its temperature sensing capability, while its ability to perceive in complete darkness can possibly help you find your pet at night.
Provided that the Cat S60 is the first smartphone to introduce this technology, it's probable that we've yet to realize the best use cases for this technology. Nevertheless, GPS was introduced in the military and you can view its everyday significance now.
5) High-end gaming:
Smartphones are already intelligent enough to act as miniature PCs. With a little more CPU and GPU smack, they should be able to change into gaming PCs as well.
Game developers could build games just like those of Microsoft's Universal Apps, playable with touchscreen controls or keyboard/mouse/gamepad input, or release full-fat AAA games planned only to be played on a big screen. There wouldn’t be any need to spend an extra £300 on a separate console when there's an equally proficient device in your pocket.
Moreover, smartphone developers could concentrate on integrating their products with existing gaming platforms. Several console and PC games have companion apps, but with this tech, we can turn any gyroscope-provided smartphone into a Wii controller, or shrink the Kinect camera to fit onto a mobile-sized device?
6) Drone capability:
This technology, undoubtedly, would possibly need some kind of bulky rotor-and-camera attachment but, if applied properly, lost or missing smartphones could become a story of the past.
Countless devices have been forgotten and left on trains, pub tables or on the back of cinema seats, never to be returned to their rightful owners. But imagine the possibility if the owner could distantly lead the phone back into their hands before it goes into someone else's? Miniature quadrotors could guide the missing smartphone airborne, steered out of wherever it was unintentionally abandoned and back to its rightful owner.
Although, this would require carrying a remote control as well, but for the sake of not losing your smartphone, I think it’s surely worth it.
7) True artificial intelligence:
It's high time we see advanced and innovative AI in smartphones. Siri and Cortana have introduced a good start. Both of these possess the ability of 'learning' about their user's tastes or timetables, but they're just straightforward implementations of the AI concept. Cortana's capability to propose evening plans on the basis of previous searches for restaurants and events, for example, is scarcely distinct from a Google Ads algorithm.
A real AI machine should be intelligent enough to truly understand its user. It should be capable to hold a conversation and acknowledge when to retain it to itself, it should guide against sending a furious email or a misguided text and, most importantly, it should identify voices to the degree that it takes less than six attempts to set an alarm.
8) Infinite solar battery:
The development of mobile phone tech has still originated at the cost of battery life. The handsets of past persisted days and days, but today's smartphones incline to be measured in mere hours. Binding them to a power supply is thinkable, but it fairly overthrows the major concept of a mobile device.
Physically bigger batteries would add excessive weight, so the apparent solution is to utilize the infinite power of the Sun. Solar charging panels built around the device would permit it to regain power merely by being exposed to natural light, building up a replacement to pass through the dark nights before recharging again throughout the day. If this tech comes into major play, you'd never have to search around for a vacant USB cable again.
9) Mind-control smartphone manipulation:
Smartphones are innovative, but despite how vast the screens get it’s still wearing to type out lengthy emails or text messages, specifically if they’re important and you don’t desire senseless autocorrect errors sneaking in.
There isn’t a lot you can do to improve this condition. But, in the distant future, conceivably researchers will develop software that is able to read your thoughts so you can simply ‘dictate’ your words directly from your brain to the screen.
This would be much better than voice dictation as you will be able to create your messages from any place - on the train, in the pub, at work - without anybody getting a clue of what you're up to.
Obviously, it could also prove to be a privacy nightmare, since you may unintentionally broadcast what you are really thinking of the person at the moment you're emailing. However, we’re hopeful that these technologies would find a solution around these problems.
This kind of technology would be an incredible way to interact with your smartphone or laptop, allowing you to use apps with the control of your mind.
After all, the mainstream of smartphone features we now use so easily would have been just as imaginable and inconceivable 50 years ago.
10) Holographic display:
Holograms would be the expected progression of video calls, capable of enhancing interactions by transmitting all the nuanced body language that you simply don't get on the 2D, 720p image of a person's expression.
Of course, the possibility of hologram-emitting displays goes far beyond Skype and such competence could create really 3D maps, prototype models for designers or fairly an immensely enlarged display. Holograms could also offer some much-required personality to digital assistants by providing them an actual form. There's no chance anyone could miss a Siri reminder if they're instantaneously greeted by an exhausted and overworked personification in 3D, furiously stomping around with a 'MEETING AT 3:30' notice.
11) Extended Battery life:
Sadly, a week-long battery life span in a smartphone appears to be unlikely even by 2020, as Dr Kevin Curran, a senior member of the IEEE, explained:
"We can only see improvements in capacity of six per cent per annum. Hence by 2020 we can only certainly expect a 25 per cent improvement in battery life,” he said.
Nonetheless, while 25 per cent may seem good enough, Curran cautioned that these improvements tend to be balanced by the fact the battery has to work harder as devices get more prevailing and possess higher density pixel displays.
12) Biometrics Technology:
The biometric technology on smartphones is also expected to improve with fingerprint scanners on majority of the devices, not only on high-tech handsets like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. More fascinatingly, though, is that ‘keystroke dynamics’ biometrics will turn out to be the ultimate standard.
The way in which we embrace phones will also become important to this growing use of biometrics, and it is predictable that face recognition will be extensively installed on smartphones, in the same way that it is becoming common on laptops.
The improved ability for smartphones to collect more data could also make them more proficient at permitting apps on phones to accomplish “medical diagnoses and triage patients”.
The extended use of smartphones for basic health data is becoming popular, so it seems achievable that more innovative insights could become common.
All set for smartphones of the future?
It’s thrilling to imagine these features in our future smartphones but we have to think what it will take for us to get there. Consider the price we might have to pay in exchange for these overwhelming features in our smartphones. Apart from that, another question arises: Is it necessary for our privacy to be compromised for augmented reality to function at its fullest potential? Also, with so much merged into our smartphones, will the total dependence of the handler on their mobile devices be an issue? Everybody is anxiously waiting to see what the smartphone industry can suggest, and how the common people will respond to the advent of new and better smartphones along with the cluster of issues that encompass each technology that is introduced to public use.