Smartphones have come incredibly far in the 21st century. We’ve skyrocketed from the HTC Dream and the iPhone 3G, to phones that could very much work as computers in their own right. But, where do we go from here? What is the future of the smartphone? Well, here are five promising technologies that you might find in your smartphone in the near future.
3G, 4G, 5G. It’s only natural that we progress to 6G at some point, right?
6G, or sixth-generation wireless, will be the next step up from 5G, and, of course, will presumably provide even better internet access and speeds.
It is currently thought that 6G, like its predecessors, will be a broadband cellular network, and many major companies, including Nokia, Apple, and Samsung, are showing a keen interest in this developing technology.
Beyond being much faster and supporting larger data rates, researchers and developers are also discussing the inclusion of AI in 6G. AI could be used to support, design and optimize 6G operations.
Increased security and privacy protocols are also being looked at for the future widespread release of 6G.
2. Over-the-Air Charging
No one likes being limited by a cable. Want to turn over in bed, or readjust your sitting position while using your phone? Sorry, your charging cable’s a little too short.
Well, what about a wireless charger? Sure but you’ll still have to lay your phone on the charger itself. Mobile chargers are equally as inconvenient, as you have to actually remember to charge them beforehand. So, we’re all just waiting for the day that we can charge our phones in a totally contact-less way.
Enter over-the-air charging. The basic premise of this technology is simple: you walk into your house, and your phone connects to the over-the-air charger automatically, without any hassle, or even having to think about it.
To use this technology, you’ll probably need a sort of charging station, which will be fit with sensors that can pick up on your phone’s presence. Though it is assumed this charging station will be about the size of a guitar amp, a fair step above the size of regular cable chargers, it’ll absolutely take convenience to the next level.
3. Nano-Tech Batteries
Ever realize you need to be out of the house in 10 minutes, but your phone is on 10%? It’s always a frustrating moment. But what if we told you that your battery could charge fully in minutes, maybe even seconds, in the near future?
This super-fast charging would all be down to the use of nano batteries. Nano, essentially, means something that is extremely small. You may have heard this word before, and now this technology is being developed for smart phones.
To put it simply, phone batteries at the moment aren’t exactly ideal. When signals are exchanged within a phone, energy must be drawn from the battery, and energy is used along the signal’s journey, too.
Nanobatteries will effectively decentralize this energy consumption and transfer process, allowing for super fast charging, and hopefully better battery life. However, scientists currently haven’t gotten nanobatteries down to a small enough size, so we can’t access this technology yet.
4. Removal of SIM Cards
Plastic SIM cards may not be around for too much longer, with the introduction of the eSIM.
An eSIM is a virtual SIM provided by your phone network. The beauty of these eSIMs is that, because they are not physical, and can be updated and changed, you can switch phone networks easily, or hold more than one phone network at the same time.
With an eSIM, you don’t need to go to the store to switch phone networks, or wait days or weeks to be sent a new SIM card. You can switch networks quickly, on your phone, without any frustrating complications.
While a few phone networks already support eSIMs, physical SIM cards are still very much the norm, and most people have a plastic SIM, not an eSIM. But, in the coming years, eSIMs could certainly become a widespread technology, and plastic SIM cards could become as irrelevant as DVD players.
5. OLED and E-Link Combination
Before we delve into this up and coming technology, let’s be clear on what OLED and E-link are.
OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. Put simply, OLED screens are just fancier and more advanced than LCD screens. They use flexible sheets of material to emit light.
E-ink, on the other hand, is essentially just a type of electronic display that mimics the look of ink on paper. E-ink is generally a lot more basic than OLED, however, combining these two technologies could make it much easier to use your phone for multiple functions.
OLED, for example, is great for watching videos on your phone. However, it’s not so great for reading. But E-ink is great for reading, allowing for easy and clear reading even in direct sunlight, which OLED displays cannot do.
Because of this, some are now considering the possibility of combining OLED and E-ink into one to accommodate for an array of different functions. This could lead to longer battery life, given that using your phone with the E-ink option turned on would use significantly less electricity than using an OLED display.
While this display combination seems super convenient, it hasn’t actually been done yet, as we simply don’t have the technology to make it possible. However, it certainly is an exciting concept, and could become the norm in future smartphones.
The List of Future Smart Phone Technologies Is Endless
Given how rapidly technology is advancing every year, there’s really no telling what smartphones will look like in a decade. You’ve seen the experimental pictures of transparent smart phones, or even holographic smartphones online, and they seem a little silly.
However, with time, smartphones could progress beyond our imagination. With the progression and integration of AI, and the ever growing need for information sharing, smartphones are becoming more and more of an intrinsic part of our lives, and they could prove to be more of a blessing than a curse in the future.
You could say this is a little scary. Technology seems to be developing with no end. However, these advancements are making our lives easier, and opening the doors to new, incredible possibilities, ones that might transform our world for the better. So, we can’t help but be excited!
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