Features on Tomorrow’s Phones – Where the Industry Might be in 5 or 10 Years
In the mobile phone industry, technology advances quicker than in almost any other sector, with new devices released every few weeks and high-end models rendered obsolete in less than a year by their successors. Flexi screens, solar powered Smartphones and ultra high definition cameras are just a few of the expected upgradeable advances mentioned in a review on the giffgaff community blog, one of many which regularly reviews the latest in Smartphone technology.
This is partly to do with the fact that handset manufacturers build in a degree of obsolescence so that they can encourage people to upgrade at the end of their contracts, but even this somewhat cynical practice does not disguise the fact that phones change and improve incredibly rapidly.
So what can users of Smartphone and other mobile devices expect from the phones of tomorrow and what will the mobile industry look like in the next 5 to 10 years?
Google Glass is the wearable peripheral from the search engine giant and Android developer which allows users to get smartphone features without having to pull their mobile out of their pockets.
Glass has yet to go on general release and will cost quite a bit when it finally does in 2014, but pairing smart eyewear with a mobile will become much more common over the next decade.
Google is already working on the second generation of Glass, making it lighter and more functional. In addition, the rise of this technology will put voice-controlled interfaces front and centre.
While touch screen interactivity has defined the last six years in the mobile industry, people will be going hands-free with services such as Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s S Voice helping to make wearable mobile peripherals easier to manage.
Researchers are even working on contact-lens-style gadgets that fit directly onto the eye, providing a heads-up display that overlays reality, augmenting it with all kinds of data. Because such a device cannot contain a particularly powerful processor, a smartphone will still be needed to do the legwork.
The speed with which smartphones are bought and then become outdated is such that consumers end up spending hundreds of pounds a year on their mobile devices. But even if those that would like to replace their smartphones every year or so do so, it doesn’t mean that they have to be so costly to buy.
There is better value for money to be gained with a more flexible bundle and contract, and replacing an existing phone and SIM with the deals offered by affordable SIM only providers like giffgaff, O2 and tesco mobile. There are some excellent offers available to those who do a little bit of research.
It is one way to keep up to date with the latest phones without spending too much in the long term. Extreme Tech envisages a future in which smartphones can indeed be upgraded, rather than having to be replaced wholesale.
Faster processors, more RAM and bigger batteries are added to each new generation of smartphones, but it would be much more affordable if consumers could simply swap out their current handset’s key components for new ones each year while sticking with the rest of the hardware.
This would replicate the process that has been familiar to desktop PC users for many years and allows older machines to thrive for at least half a decade or more.
The only thing stopping user upgrades from becoming a standard smartphone feature is that this will mean less money is made by the manufacturers. Hopefully, common sense and perhaps a scarcity of materials will force their hand in this matter.