Mobile Innovation

New Innovations We’d Like to See in the Next Smartphone Generation

three friends taking photos with a smartphoneEvery time a new smartphone hits the market, users talk endlessly about the new features it brings to the table, like the iPhone 5S and its revolutionary fingerprint scanner, or the Samsung Galaxy S4’s touch-free capability. But the more fun aspect of watching the smartphone market is trying to figure out what companies like Apple or Samsung will do next.

This year, with the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6 likely on the way in the fall or winter, there’s more to anticipate than there has been in years. What will these new phones look like? How much added processor power will they bring to the table? Which applications will they make possible that have been hitherto impossible in the smartphone market? We considered these questions and more, and cultivated a list that we think represents the possible features that would add the most to the next generation of smartphones.

1. Flexible Screens

Smartphone companies have done an incredible job of distilling a computer’s worth of technology into an incredibly sleek and portable package. However, those of us who are consistently worrying about dropping and breaking our phones, or who want bigger screens for watching movies or reading books, would love nothing more than to see flexible screens implemented on the next wave of smartphone products. Screen technology has now reached such a high level that screens can be bent, curved, and folded without breaking. When these capabilities finally reach the smartphone world, they will change the game completely, not just for what smartphones can do, but also for how phone wallet makers like e-Holster design and market phone carrying cases.

2. 3D/Hologram Capability

Samsung’s adoption of touch-free capability signaled an adoption of motion-sensing smartphone features that will likely grow tenfold in the next year or two. Not only will future phones have 3D-enabled screens for films and TV shows, they may also have projectors that can turn the phone display into a 3D, virtual hologram. So far, we’ve only seen this kind of thing in science fiction movies – from Star Wars to Minority Report – but imagine being able to manipulate items on your screen by moving them around with a 3D hologram projector, and you probably have a pretty good idea of where things are going. This kind of feature may seem like space age technology, but it’s truly not that far off.

3. Superior Voice Control

Apple’s introduction of Siri instigated millions of spoken-word conversations between people and their smartphones, but so far, voice control technology has remained fairly basic. Siri and other operating systems can answer a number of basic questions, or can tap into other phone features, but aren’t terribly smart as far as artificial intelligence is concerned. Expect both the A.I. and voice control of your smartphone to improve in the coming years, with future incarnations of the technology providing for intuitive audio engagement in the same way that 3D projections and holograms would allow users to engage with a phone visually.

4. Basic Improvements

In addition to wholly new features like flexibility and 3D visual displays, the next wave of smartphones will also bring about the same improvements that we see with every wave of new products: better cameras, more durable design, superior speakers, sharper displays, longer battery life, faster charges, and maybe even a universal USB charging cord. None of these features will be groundbreaking, but they will all be welcome, whether you use an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy, and HTC, or something else.

There is no doubt that technology is advancing fast and some of these major changes may have a dramatic impact on the technologies people use in just a few years from now.