In less than two decades the mobile phone has evolved from a huge clunky piece of military hardware to a palm size everyday item. Despite the physical transformation the real change has come from what one can achieve with this now common placed device.
Where it was the user that was smart, with the emergence of artificial intelligence and embedding of deep learning, the mobile phone may soon proof to be far smarter than the average user. The mobile phone has transformed from a basic voice and SMS platform to a seemingly futuristic platform that would at less than a decade age be the stuff of science fiction and spy movies.
The modern day smart phone has moved from novelty to novelty to incorporate touch screens over keypads, cameras, voice control and even biometric recognition. It is intuitively user-centric and can arguably be defined as an extension of our very being through the large online footprint which has enabled us to generate and propagate.
The speedy innovation and evolution of the smartphone begs the question what next? For electronics giants across the globe the race is on to design the phone of the future. Year on year, consumers are bombarded with new releases that add the slightest edge over their predecessor.
Where initially the competition was to make the phone smaller it shifted into creating larger screens breeding the tablet and other fablets. The need to connect has created a new market for support devices putting manufacturers under even more pressure to innovatively link the phone to other every day devices.
The pressure to innovate has seen the smartphone transcend into wearable’s such as watches and glasses. The new fad seems to point towards malleability and drive towards a foldable phone. One may even go as far as to suggest that the phone of the future will entail aspects of virtual display and projection.
In 2010 electronic manufacturer LG rolled out a competition dubbed ‘Design the Future’; through the competition it sought to inspire the next generation of designers to challenge the industry and dream-up the most novel of designs. Though the competition has long since been suspended it opened up a new world of innovation.
According to LG East Africa Marketing Manager Moses Marji, the global smartphone market is largely driven by the demand for newer more user-centric products.
‘The smartphone market is very dynamic, as manufacturers we must continually innovate to meet the needs of our customers. Unlike other product categories however, smartphone users don’t know they want a feature until you offer it.’ Moses adds.
By its very nature the smartphone market is driven by novelty and its ever changing list of new features. To stay ahead of the market each manufacturer must factor in convenience, usability and connectivity to other devices. As to what the smartphone of the future will look like or do; you need only imagine it.