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The Future of Mobile Phones
Mobile phone technology has seen some very innovative developments in the past few years. Useful features like Siri, video calling, high-definition cameras, TV streaming and navigation tools have made smartphones an essential purchase. Manufacturers have recently turned their attention to the hardware of a phone, developing technology that can be bent, flexed and survive under water. In this article we will be looking at the future of mobile phones.
The Underwater Phone
Sony’s latest offering is the Xperia Z. It’s a quality smartphone, with a large 5 inch screen, high definition display and incredible 13 megapixel camera. The phone has all the usual high-tech features you would expect, with one major distinction – the Sony Xperia Z is waterproof.
Yes, the Xperia Z can work under water for up to 30 minutes. The phone, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was demonstrated playing music whilst submerged under water. Pretty impressive stuff and not just a gimmick as the practicality of such a feature is immense. A large proportion of smartphone damage is caused by water; many a phone has been sacrificed to a pint of beer, the toilet bowl or the bathtub. This problem will soon be a thing of the past. The Xperia Z works in the shower, can be rinsed under the tap if it gets dirty and can even withstand a water dunk challenge.
The Flexible Phone
Of course the underwater feature has a limit and the phone is only water resistant up to a depth of one metre. You also need to be wary of the plastic covers protecting the phone’s connection ports, as if left open, the phone may be damaged. The Sony Xperia Z is available for pre-order in the UK from February. If you are prone to clumsiness, this may be the phone for you.
Samsung unveiled a fascinating prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The phone, branded Youm, is the world’s first flexible phone. In a keynote speech, a Samsung executive demonstrated the super-thin plastic display bending and flexing with ease. Remarkably, the movement did not distort the images on the screen and did not cause any damage.
The purpose of a flexible display is uncertain, although Samsung suggest that the technology will be used to wrap displays around devices and show information in different ways. The flexible plastic is also much more durable than glass and will absorb force when dropped, preventing damage to the screen.
The Youm prototype is however, simply that. Samsung announced that they have no imminent plans to launch a phone with a flexible display. But it is possible we will see such technology in the future. You can watch the Youm in action here.
The In-Car Entertainment Phone
Hyundai are utilising the technology of smartphones to update and improve in-car entertainment systems. The Hyundai Connectivity Concept is incredibly simple but will revolutionise in-car entertainment. A smartphone can be placed in a dock on the centre console and all of the user’s favourite content will be transferred onto the car’s main screen. This means a driver can take advantage of their smartphone to play music, listen to podcasts and access digital radio stations through the car’s speaker system. The dock will also wirelessly charge the phone, so you don’t have to worry about your battery being drained.
The concept uses MirrorLink technology to show an exact replica of a phone’s features, on the main screen. Drivers will have access to all their apps, web browsers, contacts, email and navigational tools whilst on the move. Hyundai are expected to launch this technology in 2015.
What is Your Mobile Phone Future?
If you could create a mobile phone of the future, what would it do? Would it be transparent or intertwined with your sun glasses? Does it cook your toast or open your car door? We want to hear about your dream phone. Leave a message and tell us what you think.