The fast pace of new technology development combined with the amazing growth of the mobile industry over the last few years has made it hard to keep up with the industry. It seems like companies are pulling the curtains off of futuristic tech every day, and it becomes hard to keep up with what will make a mark on the industry and what will simply fade away. We’ve taken a look at these technologies, though, and below you’ll find the five that look the most promising.
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1. Open Platforms: Although many people think of Android as an open platform, it’s only as open as Google allows it to be. It’s very flexible and there are few restrictions on native applications for it, but the fact remains that applications must still be written specifically for it. The fact that most mobile operating systems require applications to be written directly for them means that there is a discrepancy in the amount of apps on each platform. Open platforms, such as the one being developed by Mozilla, will allow developers to write their apps in HTML5. This means a more universal mobile ecosystem with more freedom for users.
2. Mobile Payments: Of all of the emerging mobile technologies, this is probably the most developed. Mobile payments enabled by systems such as ISIS and Google Wallet let users make and receive payments online and in stores using their NFC-enabled smartphones. By tapping a phone at the register, users of these systems can completely eliminate their debit and credit cards.
3. Carrier-Free Devices: It used to be the case that phones were proprietary to a particular carrier. Just several years ago, carriers fought for business by offering exclusive phones. As networks have become more data driven and the availability of public Wi-Fi has increased, smartphone users have had to rely less and less on the carrier’s network. Manufacturers such as Samsung and Google have already made steps toward a more universal infrastructure by releasing their devices for all carriers. Pure VoIP phones are the next logical step.
4. Flexible Displays: As far as the smartphone has come over the last half decade, the form has remained mostly unchanged. The majority of them are constructed with a glass touchscreen and have a rectangular shape. Although this form works and has enabled the smartphone to revolutionize the tech world, the form factor will eventually reach exhaustion. Samsung and other manufacturers have demonstrated flexible displays that can be shaped to contour to different surfaces, making devices such as smart watches and visor much more easily accomplished.
5. Augmented Reality: This isn’t so much an emerging technology as it is one that is developing. Augmented reality apps have been around for several years, but their efficiency leaves something to be desired. Augmented reality apps in the pipeline include much more information, and they interface with a phone’s camera, GPS, accelerometer and data connection. By doing so, they can provide real-time information on anything a user looks at. Looking for a real-life implementation of augmented reality on a large scale? Look no further than Google Glass.
With new products rumored from Apple in the form of an iWatch and Google releasing Google Glass, the mobile industry looks poised for another major change. In its current state, the smartphone market appears saturated. With these new technologies, the entire industry is set to get a breath of fresh air.