Every time Apple CEO Tim Cook steps on stage in November, he asserts that the iPhone is the smartphone of the future. There is no doubt that Apple is very competitive and cutting edge in the smartphone market, especially as one of the earliest adopters of the touchscreen smartphone. However, there are some smartphone technologies that arguably surpass those offered by the latest iPhone.
Many smartphones are still rigid devices, but the displays on the face can very much be flexible. We already see this in the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge with its screen that bends seamlessly into the sides of the phone. The display is not a gimmick either, Samsung uses the edges for smarter updates that don't intrude with the rest of the screen's real estate. For example, sports scores and other similar data can scroll down the sides of the edges.
This capability will expand beyond what are current phones have, so what's in store for the future? Once manufacturers find a way to efficiently make the phones' inner hardware as flexible as the screens, we could mold them to fit our specific needs. The Galaxy S8 prototype currently showcases the early stages of this future tech. Bloomberg reported two models are likely to be revealed in 2017:
"Next year is a probable scenario. Their biggest obstacle was related to making transparent plastics and making them durable, which seems resolved by now."
Going for a run? Eventually, you will be able tod wrap and stretch your smartphone around your wrist to eliminate the need for an armband or watch. The potential functions are virtually endless!
Conductive wireless charging) is another technological capability we have in many phones today, but there are limitations. Wireless charging lets the user charge their device by simply setting it down on top of the charging pad. The electrical charge moves from the pad directly into the phone's power supply, but only if it maintains a constant physical contact with the pad.
The next step in the evolution of wireless charging is to put distance between the smartphone and the power supply while maintaining a charge—and it's not far from a reality. In 2015, researchers began work on creating a universal wireless charger that would support multiple frequencies and charge devices with various standards.
New technologies utilizing ultrasound are already being developed that can safely charge phones through several inches of space Nonetheless, there has been some controversy, specifically with the company uBeam, regarding issues with their wireless charging effectiveness. Hopefully in the future, we'll have a truly wireless life and will be able to charge our phones and other devices from across the room.
Multi-Day Battery Life
The battery is the lifeblood of the smartphone. Some consumers choose their phone based on nothing more than battery life. Manufacturers are very competitive trying to produce the longest lasting battery in the market and continually market this to consumers.
Given the current usage we utilize our smartphones for, there's only so long a battery can last without making it bigger. The next step in battery evolution is changing the current lithium ion structure into something better. Scientists think they've found the answer in lithium oxygen batteries, which integrates graphene to create a charge lasting up to five days. Once manufacturers figure out how to mass produce these batteries, they will definitely find their way into everyday consumer smartphones.
Some consumers want a better camera, some want a bigger battery, a higher resolution screen, and some want a faster processor. A modular smartphone is the best way to customize specs to fit specific needs. Right now, there is no mass-produced modular smartphone on the market. Google was experimenting with this concept via Project Ara](https://atap.google.com/ara/), but recently decided to table the idea after multiple delays and other issues.
The time is now ripe for a new manufacturer to pick up the concept where Google left off and fill this void many consumers want. Being able to build your phone Lego style, block by block, will allow for truly unique customization. We hope in the future that smartphones will be completely customizable utilizing all the aforementioned technology to create a seriously awesome smartphone of the future.