Phones started with very limited possibilities, because it was all about communication, then we added text messages to them, and over time we turned them into small portable computers with which we work, learn and enjoy our favorite entertainment. So it seems that the development is in the nature of smartphones and we will constantly improve them, adapting to our current needs. And while that is not to be expected in the next 10 years they will turn into futuristic structures capable of generating interactive objects or other solutions known from science fiction movies, the coming decade may bring some breakthrough technologies. What kind?
We start with a solution that has a chance to become reality the fastest, because a lot is already going on, and we are talking about virtual SIM cards. Currently they are available in a very limited range and most of us still use cards in physical form, but more and more smartphone manufacturers and service providers are starting to offer eSIM (in our country all the largest players, ie Orange, T-Mobile, Plus). How it’s working?
As a rule, how physical SIM cardbut everything is done digitally, i.e. smartphones have a special module built in, in which the electronic card data is saved. The subscriber receives this from the operator, in practice it is often e.g. an e-mail with a QR code, which we scan with a smartphone and it’s ready. There is no need to change the card when we want to change the device, go to the operator’s point when we want to buy a new SIM, and when replacing the smartphone, we do not worry if its size is appropriate. Operators do not have to spend money on physical cards, and manufacturers may in turn opt out of a card drawer that takes up a lot of space.
Is foldable smartphones with flexible displays, which are more and more often on the market, will be the most popular design in 10 years? It’s hard to say, because although most industry specialists expected great interest from users, the popularity of this type of solutions is growing quite slowly. Admittedly, this is also due to some childhood problems that discouraged some recipients (see: the crinkle and very vulnerable screen of the first generation Galaxy Fold) and a very high price.
So it may turn out that in a few years the technology will be so refined that we all want to use it, especially if the price drops to a more reasonable level. If this happens, it will also open the way to other smartphone forms, because flexible panels are also the basis for collapsible smartphonessuch as the prototype Oppo X 2021 presented some time ago, which promises to be phenomenal.
What about modular structures? At one time, several manufacturers had such ambitions and even introduced such solutions to the market, such as Motorola and its attached modules, under which you could expand your Moto model with a projector, speakers or an additional battery. There was also the famous Project Ara from Google, which, however, did not go beyond the testing phase, which is a pity, because it promised to be very interesting – this idea assumed practically full modularity, i.e. with the possibility of assembling the smartphone literally from selected “cubes”. It’s just too early for such a technology? Who knows, especially that a similar patent application has also been submitted by Xiaomi this year, so maybe the future will belong to such smartphones.
As I have written many times, one of the biggest problems of modern smartphones are their batteries, which are not able to keep pace with the increasingly larger displays and energy-consuming components. As a result, most users charge their device every day and often experience the unpleasant situation of a smartphone suddenly discharging at the least desirable moment. Of course, it saves us a bit here fast charging technologywhich more and more often allows you to charge the battery to 100% in literally half an hour, but it also affects the battery life.
So we are counting on the breakthrough in the field of batteries announced for years (there was a lot of talk about graphene at the time, but recently there is silence in the topic) or completely new charging technologies, such as recently announced by Xiaomi wireless charging … at a distance. Mi Charge, because it is what we are talking about, is to remotely search for a device in space and send energy to it – this means a charger placed somewhere in the home that automatically charges all devices that require it. Technology of the future? Definitely, but hopefully it becomes reality soon.
When we decide on the flagship smartphone model, we can usually count on a very decent one photo opportunities (There is a reason why many of us do not use classic cameras anymore). However, the situation is much worse in the case of cheaper smartphones, where the photographic possibilities leave much to be desired. It seems, however, that this element will see a major upgrade in the near future, thanks to which smartphones will actually be able to replace cameras, even in more professional applications.
And it’s not just about number of lenses, because in this case more does not mean better, which is very well shown by Apple iPhones, but also the introduction of solutions known from classic cameras to smartphone photography. Xiaomi has been working on a telescopic lens for some time and if he succeeds, we can get the first smartphone with movable optics, retractable if necessary, which will bring a drastic improvement in the quality of mobile photography.
And if in the coming years the idea of modular smartphones, which I have already mentioned, is adopted, it is very possible that the cameras will be available in the form of “extensions” that can be connected to the device if necessary. there will be no need to stuff into a slim housing, and this automatically means a significant improvement in the quality of photos – maybe it’s the right way?
There was 2G, 3G, 4G, and now, after the initial difficulties all over the world, the implementation of 5G is more and more efficient, so it seems natural that in a few, maybe a dozen or so years, we will see next-generation mobile connectivity. Do we need it? With each new generation such a question arose and the answer was similar – yes, maybe not immediately after its announcement, but in the end it turned out that our connectivity requirements are growing and the old generation is not able to meet them.
Just look at the current situation – for private use, we could still use 4G for some time, but when we start thinking about solutions for smart homes, schools or entire cities, including autonomous vehicles, 5G – improving data transfer speed and network stability – and soon also 6Gwill be necessary.
It can also be expected that smartphone manufacturers will be forced to switch to more in the near future ecological production process – it can mean recycled materials, materials of natural origin (just look at realme, which used ecological leather made of pineapple waste in the GT model), getting rid of plastic from packaging or finally switching to one charging standard, which will reduce the number of chargers in every household, and thus electronic garbage. Or maybe someone decides to go a step further and even reach for photovoltaic panels in screens, thanks to which it will be possible to “green” battery charging? We have also heard about such plans, so the future of the smartphone future promises to be really interesting.