The boundaries of smartphone technology appear to be limitless, as manufacturers continue to innovate at a rate that’s as impressive as the phones themselves.
According to research firm Gartner between April and June this year 225 million smartphones were sold across the globe, and judging by this year’s offerings it’s easy to see why they’re becoming the must-have gadget.
Last year industry experts predicted that 2013 was going to be an exiting year for mobile and brands, big and small, haven’t let us down. In fact, phone makers are already focussing on their next waves of innovation – here we take a look at what to expect from the mobile arena in the not too distant future.
Fingerprint scanning technology has been talked about for quite some time, but with the HTC One Max rumoured to feature a scanner on the back of the device, it could well be coming to the fore very soon.
The recognition technology would not only enhance mobile security – with only your fingerprint being able to unlock the phone, but it could also possibly contribute to some kind of mobile payment system.
Smartphone manufacturers have been slow to bring this technology to the mass mobile market. However, Motorola tested the water for the first time in 2011 with the original Motorola Atrix. It was later removed when the firm released the Atrix 2, so let’s just hope it’s here to stay this time.
More mobile storage
Smartphone technology may have come on leaps and bounds over the last few years but there’s a reoccurring trend of handsets not having enough storage space.
Many of the big name manufacturers have been criticised in recent months for not providing media-hungry users with adequate room for all their files, however Samsung has recently announced it’s working on a new system to rectify the problem.
Its 3D Vertical NAND flash memory is built to offer twice as much storage compared to existing flash drives. Samsung’s solution involves stacking multiple cell layers to create a far denser structure than those used today, which would help increase capacity and speed of internal memory.
Flexible displays are a lot stronger and thinner than conventional glass screens, and it is these indestructible qualities that make this technology such an impressive proposition.
Flexible displays use light-emitting organic material that are so thin they can be put on bendable plastic or metal foil, instead of hard layers of glass. This makes the display easy to bend and because it’s not covered with rigid glass, screens become more durable and virtually shatter-proof.
Sony was the first to introduce a water resistant and dust proof handset, which came in the form of the Xperia Z, earlier this year. The firm has certainly set a trend with the likes of Samsung quickly following suit with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.
Of course with this kind of protection there’s a danger that devices will become too bulky, too heavy and too costly, however companies are now looking to use different materials such a graphene, as more smartphone users seek out the most durable handsets.
Not only is the material light, see-through and attractive, but graphene is also smash-proof and waterproof, meaning that durable handsets could soon become commonplace. One problem is that it’s quite expensive, although this hasn’t stopped Samsung, Nokia and IBM, which have already invested heavily in the material.
It’s unclear when or if any of these technologies will reach the masses, but when they do there’s no doubt we’ll start to witness another drastic shift in the realms of mobile tehcnology.