Posted by David on 5/12/2014
As we enjoy mobile phones and smartphones thanks to the increased competition and the still-rapidly growing marketplace (about 1 billion people around the world currently own some kind of mobile phone, and that market is growing at about a 20-percent clip every year), the push for innovation is continuing. Every smartphone maker, and even every wireless carrier, is continually trying to find the next great invention or innovation that will separate it from the rest and will create the very best mobile phone experiences for users.
While there are a lot of discussions about the hardware - being more flexible, like some flexible-display phones such as the Samsung Round - there are some innovations that are probably a little more practical and useful for everyday mobile users that we'd really like to see. Here we'll provide a few of our favorite ideas to improve our mobile devices:
- Longer battery life. Who doesn't want a battery that can last more than a day? We would love to see a battery that not only charges quickly (say, five minutes?) but can last a full 24 hours or more. That research is being done.
- Wireless charging. Nokia has introduced wireless charging to its flagship Lumia phones that have the Windows Phone 8 operating system, so this is close to being mainstream. But in relation to battery life, there is research being done to take wireless charging to a new level - having a phone be infinitely charged by using wireless signals from other devices or towers around it. We may not be far away from having phones that will never need to be charged!
- Phones and screens that don't break. We usually pay a pretty penny for our phones, so we are especially heartbroken when our clumsiness leads to a phone or screen breaking from a drop onto a tile floor or concrete. Several companies are working on innovations such as graphene for the body (which is supposedly 300 times stronger than stainless steel) and glass for screens that is stronger than ever - with some glass being created with sapphires as one option. If that sounds familiar, Apple is currently using sapphire on its new Touch Id fingerprint scanner on its latest iPhone.
- Foldable tablets? Don't laugh. There is a concept for a tablet computer that is paper-thin - it even bends like a piece of paper. Just imagine taking a tablet that is the size of a regular piece of paper and being able to fold it and put it in your pocket or clutch.
- Really smart smartphones. How about a smartphone that can gather information about you, your current surroundings and actually make "decisions" for you? Heck, thinking can give us a headache, so why not delegate that skill to something else?
- 3D scanning. It's one thing to pan your smartphone camera around your room and see it in two dimensions, but why not the third? The 3D printing concept is catching on, and the technology is being worked on to be able to scan entire rooms or areas in three dimensions.
- Reality on steroids. How about pointing your mobile device at a movie poster and immediately finding out release dates, showtimes at the nearest theater and prices of tickets? Or getting biographical and contextual information regarding a piece of artwork in a museum? Some of that already exists, and it's only a matter of time before it goes mainstream.
Do you have any innovations you'd like to see in mobile devices? We'd love your comments!