Mobile technology has transformed our lives in a way that could not have been predicted 20 years ago, and the potential for future developments in mobile phones even over the next 5 years is huge.
Future mobile phones are being touted as the ultimate multifunctional devices. Some experts predict that the mobiles of the future will become remote controls for our whole lives, whereas others forecast that in the future mobile phones will literally run our lives for us.
One thing is for certain, the technology involved in mobile phones and mobile communications has developed so rapidly over the last few years that the possibilities for the future seem limitless.
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Phones of the future
Nokia has presented their vision for the future of mobile phones with The Morph phone, which it claims will "transform the user's experience".
Designed by Tapani Tyhanen, director and head of Nokia's Research Center Laboratory in Cambridge, The Morph suggests that phones of the future will involve transparency and transformability. In layman's terms, this means future mobile phones may be bendy and come in many shapes and forms.
According to Nokia, in the future the entire mobile phone casing will be a display. This would mean that phone users could look at menus from any angle, including from the back of the phone.
The Nokia Morph will use radio frequencies, silicon microphones, and speed and motion detectors. It'll also pack thermal detectors along with a range of other super-high-tech features to sense the environment, the health and temperament of people nearby.
The Morph element comes from the transformability of Nokia's futuristic phone design. Users will be able to snap apart their phones, and add in additional modules in order to change the way the phone can be used, for example turning their morph phone into a GPS enabled belt clip for hiking and extreme sports, or a flat screen for watching video.
With the development of high resolution touch screens and better quality speech recognition, mobiles of the future will combine these features with much bigger memory and storage capabilities.
Social networking via mobile phones is well under way. Already some mobile phones combine fast internet browsing with in-built GPS and Bluetooth technology to tell you, not only who is nearby, but provide you with information about those people as well.
This means that mobile phones should encourage interpersonal interaction, in both social and business scenarios. At business conferences, delegates would be able to identify people looking for jobs as well as view their CVs.
Some predictions state that in the not too distant future mobiles will change the way we learn and teach. With more than one in three school children owning a mobile phone, a future where camera and voice recorder phones are both learning and teaching tools is highly possible.
We have already seen some education authorities using texts to alert parents to the truancy and even to notify pupils of classroom changes. Harnessing the multi-functional nature of mobile phones as both learning, and teaching aids could be increasingly commonplace, especially as high quality camera phones become more widely and cheaply available. It's been suggested that in the future mobile phones will be used to take photos and make notes on field trips, in order to create a more active and informal approach to learning.