Every year, people are always looking forward to the latest and greatest smartphones. The competition is fierce among the top manufacturers as they try to one-up with new features and innovations. But it’s not just about what’s happening now; you also like to take a peek into the future! As the year progresses, many trends show promise in 2021; here are some of the most exciting ones!
E Ink displays resemble paper, but without the disadvantages of low contrast, slow refresh rates, high power consumption, and are readable in direct sunlight. Unlike LCDs, E-ink does not suffer from image fading or ghosting when displaying an image for extended periods. These days, you can purchase an e ink phone with impressive battery life and some of the other features of a modern smartphone. However, another trend is making use of e ink options, namely to simplify your life. As more people become aware of how much they use their phones, many turn to simpler devices that provide enough functionality without being overly distracting.
Foldable phones are all the rage these days; they are more innovative, slimmer, and more convenient than any other phone on the market so far. Some potential benefits of foldable phones are that they’re easier to carry around since they have a smaller form factor, provide a larger screen for watching videos, typing messages, or reading articles. On the other hand, there are some downsides to them as well. The screens are far more vulnerable to damage than traditional phone screens. This is in large part because the screen has to bend in half. Unfortunately, the technology available today isn’t able to produce rugged screens that can fold. They are also monstrously expensive, far more so than even top-tier smartphones. Nonetheless, this is an exciting trend. With a behemoth like Samsung putting its total weight behind the tech, it is only a matter of time before you begin to see more manufacturers bringing out their own versions.
AI assistants are software programs that are designed to assist humans with various tasks. They are often designed for a specific job, but they can also be programmed to handle a wide range of functions. The potential of AI assistants is vast because they can help humans perform their duties more effectively and efficiently. These programs can use data to understand human requests and then process the information to respond appropriately. As processor technology becomes ever more advanced, you will begin to see phones with more sophisticated assistants. The most well-known examples today include Apple’s Siri and Google’s voice assistant. In addition, Google has recently announced that it is creating its silicon to put inside their Pixel models.
Increasingly Sophisticated Chipsets
Apple began this trend way back when they introduced their own “AX Bionic chips” that have powered their iPhone range ever since. They are fast, efficient and consume a fraction of the energy that comparable chips consume. Existing phone chip makers like Qualcomm are also finding ingenious ways to eke more power from their processors. The exciting thing about this ARM-based arms race is that many chip makers are building their latest system on a chip (SoC) with integrated graphics and neural engines to help process AI demands. Interestingly, Google has also jumped on board with this trend and will bring out their Tensor chip version, which leans heavily on their existing AI knowledge. They named it Tensor after their current TensorFlow machine learning company. TensorFlow is a machine learning framework from Google built with the idea of making machine learning easy for developers to use. This goes to show that the future is bright when it comes to smartphone SoCs.
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that layers computer graphics and sound onto a person’s view of the natural world. AR objects can be either superimposed on the video feed from an outward-facing camera, fed into one eye (via see-through glasses), or otherwise displayed in front of the eyes, as is the case with phones. Current AR technologies are primarily used for entertainment purposes, but the future of augmented reality is promising. It will be developed into a tool that will change your everyday life for the better. For example, doctors will use AR to provide medical information to their patients through 3D models of their organs and other body parts. The best example of this development is the Apple iPad 12 Pro with an intergrade LiDAR scanner. The scanner scans the environment and allows users to interact with the displayed space in real-time.
More Robust Biometric Security
Biometric security is the security that utilizes a person’s body to identify them. It uses different types of biometrics to verify an individual’s identity. The three most common sources of biometric information are fingerprints, iris scans, and facial images. All three have their pros and cons but fingerprinting has been proven the most successful system in the past decade. Pretty much all modern smartphones utilize some form of fingerprint scanning these days and often use under-screen technology.
An interesting, non-technological trend is that of data transparency. There is an increasing awareness among the public about how the government and large corporations access and use private data. Apple has been the most prominent proponent in this regard (although not without controversy) and introduced robust data protection features in its latest iOS release. Google is more hesitant to do so as their main business relies on data, but they are also making a concerted effort. Recent iterations of Android offer the users granular control of how apps use their data.
5G is a term for fifth-generation mobile networks. It offers a significant speed upgrade from the existing 4G technology. The 5G connectivity provides data rates of up to 20 gigabits per second, low latency, and better network coverage. 5G is still in development and deployment worldwide, with different countries reaching different milestones. This new generation of wireless communications has been designed for more reliable connections with less congestion, meaning it will better handle the increasing number of devices connecting to the Internet.
In the end, mobile phones will get smaller, sleeker, and more efficient at powering the technology that’s integrated indie them. After all, the mobile phone is just one of many pervasive technologies that will continue to impact your life.