Today we have cell phones that provide us with GPS positioning, talk to us, store voice notes, map our location, send and receive email, text, surf the web and make phone calls. We take pictures with our cell phones, conduct meetings (including conference calls and webinars) and watch cat videos on YouTube. It appears that all the technology that we need has already arrived for our cell phones!
But as Plato wrote in The Republic more than 2,300 years ago, “…the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.” The next big advancements in cell phone technology will be driven by necessity as we continue to be affected every day by the use of these devices. These advances will likely include the move from physical use to motion-sensed and neural-based methods by which to power and operate devices. All eyes are also on the eventual release of Google Glass, which, even if it’s not the next big wave, will almost certainly point to upcoming trends in mobile tech.
Samsung, Apple and the Rest
It appears that many of the technological advances for cell phones are being driven by the battle between industry giants Apple and Samsung. As the two companies vie for supremacy in the mobile cell phone market, we consumers benefit. From Siri and orientation to mobile apps, both Samsung and Apple have raised the bar, outpacing their nearest competitors BlackBerry and Google (at the end of December 2012, Apple had sold 48 million iPhone units to Samsung’s 28 million Galaxy SIII and IV sales).
What’s next? The next advances from these giants will likely be the incorporation of kinesthetic motion, or the ability of the device to detect motion, such as the wave of a hand or the movement of your eye. They’ll also design neural networks that mimic natural brain functions to create better communication between users and their cell phones (as in the case of Microsoft and its Windows 8 phones). Moving from tactile keyboards that require touch and feel toward reactive technologies that respond to our emotions and feelings will be the next invention.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of the developers’ attempt to create adaptive uses for Google’s next big advance in the cell phone marketplace. Google Glass, wearable technology that is currently being tested by approximately 10,000 developers around the world (who are building apps for the device), will take hands-free mobile communications to a whole new level. A step beyond what we experienced with Bluetooth technology, Google Glass will revolutionize the way we use our cell phones and will create a whole new world of interaction and communication.
Beyond Visual Devices, Kinesthetic Motion and Neural Networks
As the above developments and advancements are on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what other changes will occur to the cell phone. Perhaps they will become an extension of our bodies, with implanted chips that enable communications to take place as a natural body function. We may also be able to wear cell phones as a permanent or temporary tattoo and use the body as an energy source to charge them. The changes that will take place in this evolving, dynamic technology are simply a function of time and necessity.
Jerry Pilkington writes on cell phones, cell phone accessories and cell phone insurance. To learn more about the latter topic view these resources from the phone insurance brand Protect Your Bubble.
Image credit goes to samsungtomorrow.