What the future holds for ‘smartphones’
Rick Chin is the director of product innovation at SolidWorks, where he develops new products and researches how technology will make us smarter, simplify daily tasks and seamlessly fit into our everyday lives.
What follows is the first of his 8 insights into what the future holds for technological innovation.
In 20 years our technology will reach a level of personalization that will enhance every moment of our lives. We’ll be more physically comfortable with the furniture we sit on and the products we hold; only the most relevant and personalized information from friends and family will reach us; and our movement in the digital world will be near telepathic.
I foresee several of today’s technologies as relevant to this particular vision of the future. They will evolve to not only be more powerful, but also more integrated with one other.
Smartphones, like today’s iPhone, are as much a computer as they are a communication device. Besides having a great multi-touch interface and fast CPU, they contain sensors like cameras, gyros, accelerometers, GPS and compasses. They allow us to calculate and communicate anytime, anywhere.
In the future, they’ll evolve into personal mobile computers (PMC). Assuming that Moore’s law holds true, mobile CPUs with near super-computing speeds will be entirely possible. The number, accuracy and performance of sensors will grow, the combination of which will give the user a very powerful sense of his/her surroundings.
Your PMC will move to your wrist and take the place of your watch. (Microsoft had this vision with SPOT, but the technology came too early and was too limited.) The device’s display will not need to be your primary user interface (UI), so the PMC can be a small, diverse fashion statement like today’s watches. The primary UI will become personal peripherals, like information glasses and headsets. You’ll be able to interact naturally in a visual and audible way.
Your PMC and personal peripherals will become your interface to every other computer, device and machine you interact with. The only UI you will ever need to know is that of your PMC.
Not only will your personal peripherals allow you to explicitly interact with the digital (and physical) worlds, but they’ll also provide subtle cues to your subconscious. While looking through your information glasses, a restaurant might emit a subtle, warm blue tint because it was reviewed positively by patrons. It will feel like a good place to eat. Are your spidey senses tingling?
We’ll follow up this post with more of Rick’s insights over the next few days. In the meantime if you would like to read the original, highly informative article go to: http://mashable.com/2011/09/18/future-technology/