My first mobile was a Siemens C30. I was ecstatic when I got it, even though my phone didn’t have Snake (I was among the few who didn’t have a Nokia 3310). All of a sudden I was able to call my friends, even though I wasn’t home. And with frenetic pressing of the buttons, I could write messages that reached my family and friends in just a few seconds. What an invention!
If someone had told me then, that I could take super-sharp pictures, watch movies, surf the internet, charge the battery without a cord and pay in stores with my cell phone in the future, I would have probably thought it sounded like something taken from a Sci-fi movie. Today it is everyday stuff.
So what will the future look like in mobile telephony? If wireless charging was something strange 10 years ago, then what are the exciting things we will be able to do with our phones in the future.
We have looked deep into the crystal ball and here are 3 crazy predictions.
Charge your cell phone over the air
Let us skip the bullshit, the battery life on mobiles is rubbish. Great, then we have clarified that. Even though the batteries are constantly evolving, you can hardly go a whole day without having to charge your cell phone. Portable chargers and the ability to charge wirelessly have helped, but that’s not enough.
”What if we can charge our phone over the air in the future?”
It is a reality that may not be so far in the future. The company Energous has created WattUp, a technology that can charge your devices as long as they are close to the charging station. Avoid hassles with cords or small charging surfaces, as long as your appliances are within about about a meter of WattUp, they start charging.
But if we dare to dream a little, then it does not feel impossible that in the future we will have wireless charging stations that can reach over long distances. Imagine that these stations are located scattered across our cityscape and all of a sudden we walk around with mobiles that always have battery.
Control your phone with your mind
We have already gone from static control buttons, with arrows to move the cursor up and down the screen, to touch screens. We can already control our phones quite well with our voices. For example, we have Siri helping iPhone users and for those with Samsung there is Bixby.
”What if you could control the phone with just your mind?”
We are far from such a thing to become a reality, but the subject is actually being researched already. Facebook has its Building 8 Division which released that they are working with a “brain-computer interface” that they hope should be able read your thoughts, to some degree. Exactly how the technology should work is not clear but the idea is that you should be able to write the words you actively think. There is already a lot of concern about people’s integrity when it comes to Facebook, so the idea that they should be able to read one’s thoughts is a little daunting.
Researchers at MIT also work with similar solutions. The unit they call AlterEgo is supposed to sense deliberate thoughts through a reader you carry on your head. It does this by sensing the minimal movements that the tongue makes when we think of this kind of deliberate commands. By thinking of a question that AlterEgo reads, an AI can look up the correct answer and, via a headset, give the answer directly in your ear. So even if the idea of controlling the mobile with the idea feels strange, and maybe even scary, it may soon be a reality.
Mobile phones that do not look like mobile phones
Let’s get a little philosophical. If a mobile phone does not look like a mobile phone, is it a mobile phone? If we look at what was considered a mobile phone 15 years ago, a device you could call and text with. Today it is a requirement that you should be able to surf with the mobile, it should be able to give you directions and it should be able to take good pictures.
We will probably require more and more of our mobile phones and as time goes on, and with that the design will probably also need to change.
We have already seen gadgets such as Google Glass, which will provide us with functionality right in front of our eyes. Google Glass wasn’t a great success, but other similar solutions have come up recently.
The Magic Leap One glasses are a hot topic today and there is much talk about the seamless AR experience they can give you who uses them.
AR and VR are subjects that slowly creep into our homes and new products are constantly being developed that give you a more immersive experience.
”What if we put our cell phones in a pair of glasses?”
If we incorporate functionality, such as calling, into these glasses, we could suddenly see the person we are calling in 3D in front of us. If we get lost, arrows can come up in front of us, showing us which way we must go.
With such mobile phones, the need to remember things will probably be less, and the need to read how to find the right information will be greater.
What the mobile telephony of the future holds is truly an exciting topic. Who knows, in 10 years maybe someone will stumble across this blog and laugh at what I considered to be cool future features, today.