The smartphone has come a long way over the past 10 years. It has gone from a simple contact and calendar database to including a camera, video camera, GPS, and thousands of apps available with the touch of a button. Over the next year, NFC will be incorporated which will be the next major breakthrough.
What can we expect from smartphones over the next few years? Of course we are going to have better displays, faster processors, and more memory, but there will be more. Here are some of the things I am expecting to be implemented or continue to grow over the next few years:
Wireless HDMI: micro HDMI ports have been added over the last year and I think it is a great step, but it is inconvenient to have to carry around a wire. More importantly, wires are a thing of the past. We already have DLNA for pushing pictures and video to our TV’s without wires, but if you want to mirror your screen or play a game, you need the HDMI connection. Wireless HDMI is still evolving and is currently too expensive, but over the next few years, as costs come down, it will be a great addition to our phones.
Built-in projectors: This is not a new concept and has been attempted by Samsung, but it is not in the mainstream yet because it it adds too much bulk. Imagine being at a party and you want to show a group of people some photos. Trying to show a group of more than 3 people something on your phone is not easy and who wants to pass your phone around. It would be nice to be able to beam the pictures to a wall. This would also be convenient if you want to do a quick slideshow presentation.
Fingerprint or eye scanners: Fingerprint scanners have already been done with laptops and Motorola recently implemented it on the Atrix. Lockscreen patterns are fine for now, but we need something quicker which is the reason I don’t use them.
3D: This has already started, but the real question is if consumers will continue to be hungry for it? For now, it seems like 3D is going to be more than just a trend. Eventually this will morph into holographic technology, but I think we have some time yet.
Better battery life: As we continue to become more mobile, battery life will be even more important. The problem is that other technologies are moving faster than battery technologies. For example, we have 4G LTE, but at the expense of pretty poor battery life. What is the sense of buying a 4G phone and then turning off the 4G to conserve battery?
Dual screen displays: Kyocera is doing it now with the Echo and Sony is going to try it in their upcoming S2 tablet, but we still have a ways to go. Hopefully the technology will get to the point where 2 screens can come together without a bezel (or at least a very minimal bezel). I wrote about this in a recent article I did on tablets. Most people leave their tablet at home because of the size. I have always said that if I could fit a tablet in my pocket, I would buy one in a heartbeat. This will hopefully happen soon.
To be our main computer: We are definitely heading in this direction. The beginning of this can be seen with the Motorola Atrix, but again, we have a way to go. I already feel like my phone is my “personal bible” in that it has everything in it or has access to it via the cloud. Eventually PC software will merge with our smartphone software and our phones will be the central power for our computing needs. Will the desktop die? It may not die, but it will slow down or change to a more server format. The only limitation the smartphone will have is storage. That is where the cloud comes in, but for larger amounts of storage, on-sight servers would still exist.
I am sure there will be a lot more. Ten years ago, I never imagined what the smartphone would evolve to. I would love to hear from our readers. What are your wishes or expectations for the the coming years?