At Mobile World Congress this year, we got to see some of the most exciting new smartphones to be released in 2018, including flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S9. We also heard rumours about the possible future smartphones we might be able to expect in the years to come.
One of these was the long-rumoured release of the first bendy smartphone. Every year, new stories arise about the bendy phone, but this year those rumours heated up, and it now looks like Samsung has a real model in the works (known for now as the Samsung Galaxy X). There were hopes that we might see it this year, but no one really knows when it will arrive on the market.
So with the bendy phone going beyond a mere concept and potentially hitting the market as early as this year or next, what else can we expect from future smartphones in the years to come?
As reported in MacWorld, Apple has got a patent for a flexible OLED screen that retracts into a casing. A variation on the bendy screen, this shows the sort of feature that could potentially arrive on the scene once bendable screens become a reality. However, don’t expect to see this on an iPhone anytime soon.
Augmented reality, or AR, is essentially where information is added to what we see in the real world using a computer or phone. It’s already on phones in the form of games like Pokémon Go, but it’s going to become a lot bigger and better in the coming years.
AR is perfectly suited to mobile phones. Phones are small, powerful and they have ever-improving cameras, meaning it might not be long until we’re holding AR conversations with people sitting in the same room as us. This is an area that’s going to explode in the coming years.
The use of projectors in phones has been hinted at for many years, but it hasn’t got there yet. While a phone that included a projector has already been released (the Samsung Galaxy Beam from 2010), the technology wasn’t good enough to catch on.
The idea is that with smartphone screens being small, you can use a projector to create a much larger screen on a flat surface. This would open up possibilities for playing games, making video calls and projecting films onto a wall to take advantage of all the benefits of a larger screen.
As technology improves, this will almost certainly become commonplace. Future smartphones will need to have better battery power and projectors with much better light output before the tech becomes viable.
Then there’s the possibility of 3D projections. This is where we really get into Star Wars territory, but it could happen in the not-too-distant future. The idea of holding a conversation with a hologram might not be as far-fetched as it sounds.
Future smartphones will surprise us
One thing that’s for certain is that new technologies will come along that we’d be hard pushed to imagine now. Who knows what smartphones will be able to do in the long-term? Health is going to be an important area, with phones that might be able to test our blood and detect illnesses.
For now, we can look forward to larger screens, better security, better cameras and thinner bodies on future smartphones. But in a few years, expect to be using your phone in very different ways.