Apple unveiled iPhone 11 this year in a usual flamboyant way that is so characteristic of Apple, but this year too the phone model couldn’t keep up with the hype. The only visible new featuresthat Applecame up with were the Dual-lens rear camera and 12 Megapixel front-facing TrueDepth Camera. In short, this time too Apple failed to give the customers new reason to buy the new iPhone except for the fact that it’s the new iPhone. It is clear that either Apple has run out of innovative features or it is simply saving them for its future smartphones.
It isn’t just Apple, the new smartphone models by other popular smartphone manufactures like OnePlus and Samsung hardly seem any improvements over the previous models. No matter how much the brands might boast, display improvements like Infinity-O display and Liquid retina display sound as hollow to our ears, as indiscernible they are for our eyes. It seems like we have reached a point of saturation, and any improvement over the current technology is both expensive and unnecessary.
Are the smartphones going to die?
No, they won’t. Just like the way rise of the smartphones didn’t completely eliminate PCs or TVs, in the same way, smartphones would still remain there, but they would no longer remain the center of our attention the way they have for the last one and half decade or so. Most of us are tired of waiting for the latest model of smartphone just to see it have better camera or slightly bigger screen for the umpteenth time. They simply don’t deserve the lime light anymore.
Smartphones have become like the old king, who is still holding on to the throne only because he hasn’t found the right successor. It is just a matter of time when some new innovations would soon take away the throne from smartphones and we would stop giving all that attention to them. However, as of now, we don’t know who that successor would be. From Google and Apple to Microsoft and Amazon, everyone is making their bets. And by simply taking a look at what they are betting on, we can say that some worthy contenders are making their presence felt.
4 – Technologies that might take over smartphones
1. Mind Reading Gadgets
The transition that we’ve made from keypad to touchscreen show the human tendency towards comfort. This was followed by voice assistants like Alexa and Siri etc. But it seems that to reach the next step we have get over a physical barrier and move towards the realm of mind.
According to the expert opinion, gadgets working on mind reading AI would be able to do things just as you think about it. You would be able to open any app, play videos, and might as well play video games just by involving your thoughts into the game. In addition, you would also be able to other things like sending text messages or looking for stuff on the Google. Furthermore, the mind reading gadgets would be very fast, and might also revolutionize our diagnosis of mental health issues.
Mind reading gadgets have already been there in the realm of science fiction for ages. One can find examples of it in science fiction shows like Cowboy Bebop (1998), Serial Experiments Lian (1998) and Jonny Quest (1986). These show that the concept itself has fascinated us for decades.
As of 2017, Facebook’s Building was working on technology that might help people type using their mind. The typing speed that they were targeting was 100 words per minute, which is many times high than what the 20 words per minute while we type on smartphones.
That’s not all. Even some scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working on a gadget called AlterEgo. Their aim is to create a device that lets you converse with your gadgets by simply using your thoughts.
Science fiction predicted Robots centuries before they even thought about something like smartphones. But it might be possible that now that we are getting disillusioned from smartphones, companies might shift their attention to building robots. In fact, the voice assistant themselves talk like some sophisticated robots. We just need to go one step further, to create a viable robot, and believe it or not, innovators at Hong Kong have already done that.
Although it is clear to distinguish as a robot, Sophia the robot is still more human like than anything that we have ever seen. In fact, Saudi Arabia has already granted citizenship to it. With its latest upgrade Sophia has received functioning legs and it can walk now. Apart from that, its other major features are being able to maintain eye contact, follow people, recognize them, and even hold a conversation in a natural way.
In coming years, robots like Sophie are expected to become a common sight in sectors like healthcare, education, customer service etc. Moreover, since anyone would prefer a human figure over a screen, it is just a matter of time when these robots also make their ways into our houses.
3. Virtual Reality
Theoretically, what our smartphones show us is also virtual reality. But what most of us understand with the term virtual reality is something entirely different. It is something the otherworldly world that we get to view using VR headsets. From education to gaming to travel to even movies, Virtual Reality is quickly gathering ground for itself to stand on. With investments from top players like Sony, Facebook and HTC, you can be sure that this technological innovation won’t fade away from public conscience without realizing its full potential.
4. Augmented Reality
Not 100% virtual? No problem. Why not have part virtual and part real? Smart glasses proposed by companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple promote yet another brand of reality. Although Augmented Reality exists for smartphones too, and the success of games like Pokémon Go have shown us that it is no joke, nevertheless, it is something that we can better experience through glasses.
Viewing augmented reality through smart glasses might make our experience of reality similar to that of Terminator. Our glasses would logically process the information of all the things around us, and give us the result. This might make us prey to load of unnecessary information, but integrate mind reading into the smartglasses, and that might be the solution for the problem.
As of now, the version of augmented reality that we are getting is too expensive and unrefined, but it won’t be bad to set high hopes on it.
It is natural tendency of humans to look forward, and if smartphones can’t satisfy this tendency then we are bound to look past them. Ultimately, the technology that is going to rule over the world isn’t the one that sounds best, it would be the one that clicks with the masses. Innovations like Robots, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are just a few popular names among a range of myriad other concepts. We get to see thousands such concepts in scientific journals, each one seemingly capable of transforming the world. It is just a matter of time when one such concept comes to the fore and actually transforms the world.