With the rapid advancements of mobile phone technology in the past few years, some wonder what is in store for us in the immediate future. I for one don’t want to wait and certainly don’t want to hear about vaporware, like the flying cars we were all promised as kids. So lets take a rational look at what the Nokia’s, Samsung’s, and Motorola’s have in store for us in the relatively short time frame of the next 2 years.
Nokia is developing user experiences based on a multi-sensory level that can detect, transmit and emit smell. It can also radiate colors, light and temperature from a caller’s environment. The practicality of this is unclear, perhaps a sensory text message that smells like your mom baking cookies or the smell of your first true love. Other options are too unseemly to discuss here.
The look and feel of the next generation of phones will have screens better than even the finest TV’s. OLED (Organic light-emitting diode) will become standard as the line of living room TV will be blurred by what will essentially be mobile entertainment centers that slip into a shirt pocket. CES recently displayed the first OLED Sony TV and those that saw it still have sore jaws because they literally dropped to the floor. To give you an idea of how pretty and bright the picture was, the bleeding edge Panasonic’s have a contrast ratio of 25,000:1, the Sony had a 1,000,000:1. Yeah that wasn’t a misprint, a million to one ratio!! It is essentially as bright as the sun but far cooler to stare at.
Luckily for us the OLED screens are starting to make their way into mobile phones found in Japan on NTT DoCoMo’s advanced network and elsewhere. The Samsung 920 SC and the Nokia 8800 Arte are prime examples of phones with displays so gorgeous you will find yourself staring at them like you might a womans sexy curves. The 920 SC website is M.I.A. but the Nokia 8800 has a website so seductive I wasn’t sure if it was trying to promote the phone or wanted me for a one night stand, perhaps both.
The Motorola U9 might give us the greatest indication of what is in store, it sports a transparent screen that blends in so well to the rest of the phone that it is hard to tell where the screen starts and finishes.
So without knowing what the next killer app is going to be, we have to look at what we have seen lately, that the next gen of the mobile industry will focus on beautiful and well thought out design. We can look to the films of the 70’s, the architecture of the 50’s and 60’s, and the technology of the 21st century for the inspiration we need to create not a form over function but a form and function approach. And who knows we might even see that infamous Google phone before the end of the decade…maybe.