We have had a plethora of new technology innovation and diversity when it comes to smartphone in the past couple of years. Some of the standing out features are bezel less displays, dual cameras, inclusion of AI, re-introduction of external sd card slots, biometric authentication, AR-VR capabilities, water resistance and more.
Although there are a tone of those, my favorite technology in smartphones in chronological order would be the top 5 as below.
5. Water resistance
Yes, for some this is the most important feature in a smartphone as there is nothing more sad than see your phone leak from the charging port or headphone jack, it helps us with the additional confidence and sense of security that our 700$ investment can still be very protective even if it falls off accidentally in a bucket of water. Plus, you have the added advantage of taking pool shots while swimming. Not many out there can help you out with those.
4. External card slots
Although we are moving to cloud storage we have to admit that you need a strong 4G connection and data plan to support cloud storage and also the choices are limited when it comes to storage capacity. Though google photos does give us unlimited storage for hi res photos but it still doesn't give us the feasibility of an in-house file explorer which can be used to store files locally and use them whenever you need them. I can make my phone equivalent to my laptop as i have to store PDF’s, Word Documents, spreadsheets, Decks, Project Files, config files and a tonne more. We are still not there yet with cloud storage so re-introduction of the external card is definitely a plus one on your smartphone.
3. Bezel less (Curved Displays)
The trend started from a couple of years back at CES when samsung demo’ed its first flexible displays and then rumors started coming out about a curved phone. We had the first curved phone, the samsung galaxy edge. And samsung took it off from there. Although they don’t bring a tonne of usability it definitely adds up to the appeal. For some, video’s might seem weird as it gets stretched out but the look of the phone and the feel of icons flowing down to the curved screen as you change your launcher pages, looks like a futuristic delight to your eyes. We might see a lot of applications with this technology as some concepts emerged of a rollover display or a multi dimensional gadget with a foldable display which turns itself into a tablet or a phone depending upon how you fold it.
2. AR-VR capabilities
As we know that VR was the big innovation started by Samsung on smartphones in a consumer ready sense, the VR headset gained traction which matched with the high res amoled display of samsung galaxy devices. Google followed with its daydream projects and now console manufacturer, Sony has leveraged the technology to have Playstation VR. Even Occulus has teamed up with PC manufacturers to provide better gaming on PC devices. VR is the next level of media consumption and gaming. Definitely smartphones have come a long way to support VR games and playback. AR is also coming up in a big way, although the applications today are very less. Its great to see ArKit from Apple IOS 11 in action with its amazing field of depth
recognition and now we have Google Lens which will come up shortly that would give us a much smoother AR feel.
AI has gone from being a workflow driven algorithm to an intelligent neural network working continuously on large tier 1 architectures. The growth of AI in all fields is staggering. I am already enjoying asking Bixby to open up the camera, take a selfie with memory filter on, on my galaxy s8. Although its not a popular favourite, but 2 years back we could never think of asking an AI assistant to open an app and do the required. Even google has become much better at understanding comments and contextual talk. They are coming up in a big way. AI is the future and thanks to google for keeping Tensor flow as open source, you can create your own AI engine, if you have the right aptitude.
By Anjan Saha