Agenda 2030: what will be the future of the smartphone?

About 10 years ago, the development of smartphones seemed unthinkable. What seemed impossible, however, has come true: Smartphone technology is accelerating at such a rapid pace that the first smartphones look primitive.

Today, the smartphone transcends the boundaries of communication and has become the most important platform for accessing information. A few years ago, we used countless devices to check the weather, edit photos, or access our email or calendar, to name a few. Today, however, we find everything on our smartphones.

Today, we can say that cell phones have become an extension of ourselves and have changed our lives forever. Eighty percent of the population owns a cell phone, and more than a billion of them are smartphones. We check our cell phone an average of 150 times a day; in fact, some people experience intense feelings of anxiety when they forget it.

Far from stopping in their development, smartphones will continue to evolve in the coming years. Some predict that they will become real remotes for our lives, others think they may disappear into portable devices such as glasses or watches.

Screens should also be brighter and bend in different ways; cameras will become so sophisticated that they threaten to catapult high-end SLR cameras, and the digital assistants in them will be even more connected at best.

That said, let’s take a closer look at what our cell phones may look like in the next ten years. Let’s try to guess.

Outdoor charging: goodbye to wired chargers

Imagine that you have run out of battery and do not have a charger with you. This will no longer be a problem for the next few years, as the next connected devices should be able to be charged using wireless solutions. The technology used would be radio waves, which would also be more environmentally friendly.

Meanwhile, several media outlets reported that Elon Musk would consider launching a smartphone, the Tesla Model Pi, whose battery could be recharged via sunlight. This device will be rated in the high-end series and would have extremely futuristic aspects.

Musk also intends for his future smartphone project to include his own apps that can be linked to Tesla vehicles. It is not yet known when Musk’s project, which is expected to cost around € 1,000, will hit the market.

6G technology: You can download a movie in seconds

6G, as the name suggests, is the sixth generation of mobile connectivity. Although 5G has not yet been able to reach all territories, Samsung in collaboration with the University of California is already testing the prototype 6G wireless communication, which would mean that the maximum data rate could be 50 times higher, faster than 5G.

This is a technical challenge as it would require expanding the spectrum to 3000 GHz, building new antennas and continuing high-tech research.

Recently, a group of Chinese researchers managed to send 1 TB of data in a second over a distance of 1 km. At the same time, the Tsinghua School of Space Engineering in Beijing managed to broadcast more than 10,000 high-definition videos. At present, China thus appears to be at the forefront of this type of technology, with more than 40% of the patents in this field coming from the Middle Kingdom.

That said, what would the arrival of 6G mean for our lives in all respects?

Much faster browsing, lower latency, the ability to download a movie in seconds, greater power efficiency, truly immersive augmented reality including holographic communication and automated, interconnected artificial intelligence.

6G technology, expected to begin commercialization around 2030, would have the ability to connect to much more complex devices, such as self-driving cars, flying vehicles and drones, among others.

Foldable Phones: Are They Becoming Popular?

A foldable mobile phone can change the way content is consumed. It is a mobile device that adapts to the right size to perform a particular task. So our smartphone could, for example, unfold and go from a small smartphone to a tablet if need be. Mobile and tablet therefore merge.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Once again, Samsung is a leader when it comes to folding technology, as 9 of the 10 products sold to date are their own. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has been the audience’s favorite foldable, with a market share of 52%.

Likewise, brands like Huawei, Motorola and Apple have been working on developing their own foldable phones for some time.

So far, the foldable device sector is not competing with “normal” mobile phones, and it will be some years before this type of device further reduces its prices and can enter the market with greater force. Foldable phones are expected to account for almost 10% of all smartphone sales by 2030.

Even smarter artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence will become even stronger over the next ten years and will play a major role in our lives. If AI is already a key element in today’s smartphones, in features like voice assistants, photography, augmented reality or real-time language translation, future devices will be equipped with a host of new features.

The artificial intelligence of the future could make more complex and human-like decisions. She could be at the center of a number of connected devices, such as entertainment, connected car or home automation, make restaurant reservations for you, recommend new experiences, tell a story to children, manage your schedule or organize your shopping.

Amazon Echo mere

In the not-so-distant future, artificial intelligence will even have the ability to understand our emotions. Huawei is already working on it. Your device can even act like a psychologist: it will cheer you up if you’re upset, give you advice if you feel overwhelmed … It may even become your friend or confidant.

Holographic screens: this is no longer science fiction

In recent years, holograms have been a part of some sci-fi and futuristic fantasy films. Star Wars, Blade Runner 2049 or Iron Man are examples.

Smartphones from 2030 will also have holographic display technologies.

Holographic screens could represent 3D images or videos that would hover over the device and could be viewed from any angle without the need for 3D glasses.

Smartphones without ports or buttons

Another trend for the coming years is to create mobile devices without ports or buttons, just screens. In fact, many current smartphones have already removed the 3.5mm headphone jack and are using Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones.

The USB port on mobile devices should also disappear completely.

Vivo and Meizu are the brands that have already developed the first prototypes in line with these premises, and once again, China is investing heavily in this technology.

Significant improvement of the cameras: is it possible?

For the next few years, cell phone cameras had to have such high image quality that they could even replace professional cameras. The largest change is expected in the number of megapixels.

Electronic tattoos, fusion of people and machines … What if the smartphone disappeared forever?

We can not predict exactly what technological changes mobile devices will bring in the next ten years, but what we do know is that smartphones have become an indispensable part of our lives.

We’re wondering what will be the next technology that will replace smartphones, especially since Bill Gates recently stated that electronic tattoos will be the new device used to herald the next generation of technology. This technology, which needs to be developed, will consist of printing chips on the skin to monitor and collect personal information, such as medical or sports data.

Extensive research is currently being conducted into possible electronic tattoos in collaboration with companies such as Google and Chaotic Moon Studios, a US company in which the tycoon is investing because of the potential he sees in the development of this technology.

Elon Musk, on the other hand, assures us that in time we will merge with the machines so that we can change bodies when ours are no longer useful, or transplant our memories in the event that our heads stop working. In his own words, “if we do not, artificial intelligence will render us useless.” In addition, this technology is already being developed at the universities of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington. Unbelievable, right?

Many of these predictions are just that: predictions. And by 2030, we could see very different technologies than we imagine today. I wonder if all this will eventually happen and if people will be ready for it.

The debate remains open.

Adapted from the original article written by Carolina Díaz Marsá and published on our sister site PCWorld.es.

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