The Future of Cell Phones
What will be the future of cell phones?
What will the next version of the cell phone look like?
What will the next version of the cell phone look like?
I'm not exactly sure. I think it's a case of innovation having to follow technology. Just because you want to hop in your car in the morning and let it drive itself to work, doesn't mean it's going to happen. Eventually it will, but not until the technology is there. Designers love coming up with all this fancy futuristic ideas of things like cars, but when it comes down to it, they end up just building a regular old Honda Civic.
Anyway back to cell phones. In order to see where we are going, we need to see where we have been. First a short history lesson.
This was basically the first cell phone. It was really big, heavy and expensive. You had to carry around a giant battery and could only talk with people if you were in a big city like New York. These made more sense when they were mounted in luxury cars.
In 1986 the first thing that really LOOKED like a phone was this, the Motorola DinaTAC, which took 10 years to develop and was nicknamed the Brick. I think i remember that the guy who invented it, based it off the tricorder from Star Trek. It was still expensive, costing over $3,000.
I still know it as the Zack Morris phone because of him always using it on Saved by the Bell.
But eventually technology progressed and the phones got smaller and cheaper. Still they were only used for calling. Because why would you want or need to use a phone for anything other then calling someone?
Then they got even smaller and there were new designs like the first flip-phone. You could fold them up and put them in your pocket, after you put down your little antenna of course.
Flip phones really hit their stride with the Motorola Razr. A small, cheap, easy to use phone that everyone had.
It had a camera and front screen and it was relatively cheap. This was when cell phone companies realized that they could make more money in the monthly cell phone bills then by selling the phones. Sort of the same story as computer printers costing $40 and then when you need to buy the ink it cost $25 for a little cartridge.
Then the screens got better, cameras got better and people shifted from calling more to texting more. So for texting, email and the internet they needed a fully keyboard.
There were some other early adopters out there that saw that the phone would eventually become a mini computer. I remember people having the Palm phones, but they never really caught on at that time. It seemed like they were a little early in the whole data phone plan idea.
There was also things like wireless bluetooth technology which could sync your phone to other electronics. It allowed for wireless talking and data transfer.
Then the era of the large, simple glass flat screen phones arrived with the Apple iPhone. No more keyboard to get in the way, this phone could transform itself to whatever you wanted. And since then, this has basically been the model for modern cell phones.
So what is going to happen next? Here's my predictions...
(click to enlarge)
I think that the most immediate technology that will come to phones will be the cell phone / credit card. By credit card i mean drivers license, health insurance card, bank card, birth certificate... No more wallets or purses, alright women will probably still have purses for their stuff, but all your important information will be on your phone. It will be a consolidation of your life's documentation.
But with all of this important information on our phones, we will need some way to protect it. And sci-fi movies have shown us the best ways to protect our precious information, retinal scans. You will put your eye up to the camera, a high-tech laser beam will come out and pass over your eyeball. Of course this means that if someone wants to steal your phone, they will then have to cut out your eyeball with a knife too.
The wireless charging docks already exist. There are versions made by Energizer and Duracell. The concept of wireless electricity was invented by Nicola Tesla decades ago.
His idea was to power an entire town with wireless electricity, but i guess he was just too ahead of his time. Today though, we have a special cell phone case and table top pad that when next to each other will charge the phone.
I think that all future phones won't need the special case, the hardware will be built in. And this will really catch on only when Apple says it's cool and you need it. Then eventually you wouldn't need a dock, your entire home would be the dock. Your phone would start charging when you walked through the door.
This would also tie in with my bluetooth control of everything electronic. No only would your phone begin to charge when you enter your home, but you phone would start communicating. Downloading and uploading files to backup hard drives and turn your phone into the TV remote and the light switch. I'll call it SIRI 2.0. The software on the phone will eventually become like a real person. It will understand all of your commands.
Now who wants to be carrying around their phone with them while they are in their own home? Not me. So i see something like you set your phone down and your watch becomes the interface.
It's easy to move around with and small enough to forget about. Although i don't see that stylus catching on. I think that the future lies in screen projection or holograms.
I mean doesn't this just look like what your house will become in the future. You won't have a 50" TV, your TV will be however big you want it to be.
There's already lots of versions of this in the world today. You can even build your own table top version that uses a projector and a Nintendo Wii controller as the sensor. But as the technology continues to progress i think we will see a simple, powerful, easy to use version.
They already make cool screens that can bend and fold. This is more of the future of the cell phone interface. How the phone will look and feel.
Maybe it will be similar to the phones we have now, just clear and futuristic looking. This looks more like a work of art and actually not that futuristic. It's overly complicated.
Even something like a ring or bracelet that you wear seems overly complicated.
Google will soon release their Google Goggles, which will be able to merge the computer to what you see.
Instead of just looking at a movie theater, you will see the front of the building and a projection of what's showing, at what time and whether it's sold out or not. You won't even have to ask your phone, it will just do it. And it will remember your favorite types of movies and give you suggestions of what you might enjoy.
A phone in the future will be something that you can't forget. It will be come a part of you. Maybe a chip will be implanted into your arm. It will be all of your information, GPS, phone, computer... now it's starting to sound like one of those Sci-fi movies where the government controls peoples lives.
Either this or we will just TELL the computer what we want, basically like in the Starship Enterprise. "Computer...turn on the lights." "Computer...make me a chicken pot pie." We will forget how to do everything manually and only know how to interact with software.
Until eventually the fate of the universe will rest in the memory banks of two droids and they will communicate with a hologram. I mean it wouldn't have been as dramatic if Princess Leia would have told Obi Wan Kenobi that he is her only hope, via Email. Attached is a PDF of the plans to destroy the Death Star, hopefully R2 got the Adobe update so he can read the file.
Human or "human-like" interaction is the key. The future of phones will eventually be able to simulate actually being in the same room as someone.