What to Expect From the Next Generation of Smart Phones

New smart phone technologyAre you ready for the next generation of smart phones? Exciting new display technologies are changing the way we view and use our phones.

Here’s some enhancements we can expect in the near future:

Curved Displays

Our computer monitors, televisions, and portable devices have used flat display screens for many years. Why would we go back to the physics we first saw in the early television set days when we had curved displays?

Actually, we won’t be. The difference is that the original television screens were convex displays that bulged or curved outward, while the new display technologies are concave, meaning they curve inward.

Samsung has taken the lead in concave mobile display deployment. They contend that a curved display provides users with a better human-computing response interface. In other words – it’s a more comfortable fit, and easier to touch. Apple is rumored to be working towards delivering a curved display with their iPhone 5 as well, which is purported to be released in early October.

Large screen manufacturers such as NEC also have large screen concave models that they contend “put the viewer in the middle” of the technology, providing users with a panoramic, immersive display. Early adopters have been medical scanners, photographers and video animators who need a lot of real estate, but don’t want their view interrupted by the frames of multiple monitors

Enhanced Displays

We’ve also seen enhancements in screen resolution capabilities for portable devices. Screens are being designed for easy viewing even in harsh sunlight. In addition, power consumption for displays has also been reduced, while actual screen sizes have increased.

E-Ink evolutions that allow for floating particles to be electronically assembled have allowed devices such as Amazon’s Kindle, Sony’s Reader and Barns & Noble’s Nook to emerge into mainstream markets. Newer enhancements to E-Ink processes have now made even finer detail feasible, and provide quality imagery in environments where excessive light is present. It’s only a matter of time before this technology is introduced into the smart phone market.

Flexible Displays

This emerging technology could offer the most evolutionary changes in cell phone design that we’ve seen to date.  A new flexible display phone by Samsung is already slated for release in 2012. The phone will utilize Google’s latest OS, and is based on a material called graphene that allows for flexible circuitry.  If they can perfect the use of graphene for both display and electronic circuitry it could revolutionize the way we integrate computer chips into everyday products.

Another new technology called resistive bend circuitry allows users to trigger menus or selections by physically bending a flexible display. Turning a page will be as simple as bending a corner. While Nokia filed for a patent for this paper phone concept years ago, the prototype has only recently been delivered, and Nokia expects all phones to utilize this technology within the next five to ten years.

The end result could be that we’re going to be able to work with these flexible paper phones in the same way we currently work with paper documents. If this technology proves to be viable, all our computing displays – both smart phone and desktop – will be delivered through lightweight films, which can easily be carried, stacked, and arranged.

What are your thoughts regarding these new technologies – and what do you think will be the next step in smart phone evolution?


James Dalton is a Learn iT! Microsoft Certified Trainer with over 15 years of experience as a solutions developer, consultant, and teacher of networking, applications and Microsoft server solutions for many different colleges, universities and private companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds numerous certifications, including Microsoft ITPro for Server 2008, SharePoint, Windows7.

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