A recent study by Oxford based tech website S21 revealed that in 2014 smartphones, phablets and tablets will merge into a device with a screen size of 6 inches. At the same time, phones will get thinner, the use of phones for voice calls will decline, and mobile data use will explode, thanks to the increasing availability of Wi-Fi, 4G networks and cloud storage.
The growth in social media will continue, with Facebook, Twitter and possibly LinkedIn receiving the majority of use from a mobile device. According to S21, new developments in user interfaces will become increasingly important, moving beyond simple touchscreen user interfaces. In the future, voice commands, eye control and gesture recognition may play greater roles in how we interact with our phones, and we will also start to use smart watches and glasses. Artificial intelligence will become more sophisticated, with smart devices able to predict our needs and act without needing direct commands.
Moore’s law predicts that next year’s smartphones will have 8- or 16-core processors, which will enable the use of mobile devices for gaming to continue to increase, threatening the future of dedicated games consoles.
Steve Morris, Managing Editor, S21.com comments: “Predicting the future is hard, and is traditionally a sport reserved for the brave and foolish. However, it’s possible to extrapolate existing trends and imagine how the smartphone might look one year into the future. What we’ve learned from the past decade is that the mobile phone is the one device that people can’t do without, and it has steadily absorbed the functionality of the camera, the MP3 player, the GPS and the video camera. Our prediction that it is poised to merge with the tablet and the games console is based on this track record of ubiquity.
“One thing that’s safe to predict is that as the capabilities of smartphones become ever greater and consumer demand shows no sign of slowing, the cost of your monthly phone bill isn’t going to fall any time soon.”