The Phone Of Tomorrow - Business Media MAGS

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The Phone Of Tomorrow

Glenneis Kriel investigates the ever-evolving ways our mobile devices are used.

Phones of the future will look totally different from phones today, with people probably no longer needing screened, handheld devices to make calls and connect with the internet.

This reality, however, is still a good five to 10 years in the making. The current focus in the industry is on the production of phones with more memory to better accommodate those using their phones as cameras, video recorders, and for work and gaming, according to Tony Shi, mobile product line manager at Hisense.

Along with this comes a stronger focus on the development of improved phone batteries. To illustrate, Hisense’s Infinity E50 model, to be released next year, will have double the memory of the company’s current range and the battery will be fully recharged within roughly an hour.

“The battery will be extended from 4 000 mAh to more than 5 000 mAh, allowing moderate users to use their phones for up to two days without needing to recharge,” Shi says.

Design trends

In terms of design, Shi says slim phones will remain trendy with the screens increasing to a maximum of seven inches, to accommodate the increasing number of people who are using their phones to replace televisions and computers. The development of rugged phones will remain limited, with construction workers and miners being the main users.

Companies would nevertheless continue innovations to deal with the fact that bigger screens break more easily. Hisense, for example, is offering a one-year free screen replacement for their H40 series to address this issue. Shi says the market for folding and bending phones will also remain limited, as the technology to build these phones renders them too expensive for your average user.

The biggest transformation will come from the arrival of 5G, which has the potential to increase processing and internet speeds by up to a hundred times, according to Shi. “It will allow users to do much more with their phones than was possible up until now, turning their phones into technology centres with the ability to do everything from controlling electric appliances to running businesses and finances.”

Augmented reality – worth the fuss?

Augmented reality has seen astronomical growth since the launch of Pokémon Go in 2015, with many people now using it to “spice up” selfies. The technology, however, has far greater applications than mere gaming and self-indulgence, with Gerald Ferreira, the founder of Virtual Reality South Africa, foreseeing that it will radically change us
over time.

“Augmented reality is actually not as advanced as people think, but a mere overlay of the digital world onto the real world,” Ferreira says. He asserts the technology is already changing the way in which people from various sectors shop, interact and do business, by allowing them to size and fit virtual produce, and better share and visualise ideas and concepts.

He points to the examples of international furniture and home accessories supplier, Ikea, which is taking this a step further with their interior design app by offering suggestions of other products that would go well with the consumer’s choices, or the tourism industry, which is using it to deepen travel experiences, while the education sector is livening up study material through interactive learning. “AR has the potential to turn us into super-humans, by allowing us to access information in real time. We already have the ability to create solutions that use facial recognition scanning to allow you to identify people, and then match them with information about them.

“For now, however, adoption is hampered by the high cost of developing software to run these types of solutions, plus privacy issues,” Ferreira concludes.

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