What will a phone look like in ten years?

August 13, 2019 // By Julien Happich
Remember predictive texting? It was a huge improvement from the multi-tap approach. Mobile phones have come a long way since then and advancements in the industry are not slowing down.

Some might say we have already witnessed the fastest rate of change in mobile devices, but arguably the best is yet to come. While today’s smartphones boast highly responsive touch displays, high definition cameras and facial recognition, there is still plenty of room for further improvement.



With conversational interfaces such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, spoken instruction is changing the way people use mobiles. However, have you ever seen someone in public say ‘hey Google’ to their phone? Me neither. Perhaps there is a cultural block that renders this socially unacceptable.

Perhaps, the next step is mind control. Yes, seriously. Facebook Building 8 division is already developing technology that enables people to type with their minds at a speed of 100 words per minute. This is roughly five times faster compared to typing on a touch display. Without using touch or voice, this kind of technology could allow the user to simply think what it wants the phone to do, whether it is opening an app, playing a video or sending a message.

With this idea in mind, (pun intended) the future smartphone model could look vastly different. Rather than a physical block device, wearable devices and vision overlays could outcompete this norm. Whether these devices are futuristic glasses, contact lenses or headsets, augmented reality (AR) technology would allow users to control all functions with their eyes and mind. 

Brain-computer interfaces could even remove all need for a physical device. Researchers at Graphene Flagship Partner ICN2, Spain, are developing graphene brain-computer interfaces, that can be used in brain implants. This technology can record and stimulate brain signals on the surface of the brain, providing a potential application for mobile.

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