What’s next for mobile technology?

16th April 2013

As the rollout of the initial 4G mobile data service by EE nears its completion, experts are debating what the next big steps in mobile technology are going to be over the next decade or so.

I’ve done a bit of research and rounded up a few of the main ideas and speculation as to what people think is going to come next from the big mobile tech firms such as Samsung, Apple, Sony, BlackBerry, and HTC.

Flexible Screens 

This idea might seem farfetched, but it is very much real.   Samsung already unveiled the concept back in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Run using Microsoft software, the “bending” phone is said to be virtually unbreakable.  The design is a matchbox-sized box with a strip of paper-thin OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) display attached to it.

Whilst the OLED technology is already widely used across the smartphone market, this is purely through glass screens, whereas with the flexible screen Samsung have laid the chemicals over thin plastic.

Smartphone Cameras 

We all know about smartphones with built in cameras, but what about cameras with built in smartphones?  This seems to be another major step in the future of mobile tech.

In 2012, the much-forgotten Nokia hit back released the 808 Pureview, a 41-megapixel camera with a built in smartphone.  Samsung then released the Galaxy Camera, which although only boasted a 16.3 megapixel camera, contained a far superior built in smartphone.

Take into account that the iPhone 5 has an 8-megapixel camera, and you can see the potential for massive innovation and improvements in the concept of having a camera on your phone – or indeed a phone on your camera.  We should be able to expect more megapixels, improved sensors, flashlights, shutter speeds and other futuristic developments.

Phone Watches 

This one might seem more realistic for a James Bond film, but it seems phone technology is making its way on to your wristwatches.

There’s already a range of watches that offer technology to alert users to calls and texts on their smartphone.  These include a variety of colourful names such as Pebble, Metawatch Strata, Cookoo and Motorola Motoactv.

These phones wirelessly connect to your smartphone device, allowing you to view your calendar, contacts, receive notifications of texts or calls (even Twitter and Facebook notifications too), play games and skip songs on your music player, amongst other things.

Whilst the technology is not yet available to actually answer and make calls through these wristwatches, there is much speculation that Apple already have a deal in place with Pebble to make the first ever smartphone watch – that will be able to have the full functionality of an actual phone.

Other improvements 

Whilst these new gadgets might seem quite appealing, a lot of smartphone users are simply after improvements to their phone’s functionality – i.e. battery life, processing speed, resolutions, data speeds, and keeping costs down.

It would seem to keep everyone happy, mobile phone manufacturers will have to tread a careful balance between adding the latest gadgets to their new phones whilst improving the core way in which the phone works on a day-to-day basis.