The invention of the cellphone opened an entirely new world of technological promise and innovation. So much has gone into cellphone advancements that we no longer have cellphones, we have smartphones. They’re getting a whole lot smarter, too. Take a look at the latest advancements in the world of smartphone technology, and get a glimpse into what’s ahead.
Self-healing and Flexible
A smartphone feature that has been talked about and speculated on for years is flexibility, and it’s finally here. The flexible phone forerunners are the LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Round. Both phones flex to varying degrees, but the G Flex stands out from the Galaxy for one reason – it heals itself. Yes, when the back cover of the G Flex is scratched, the coating of the phone gets to work healing the scratches. It won’t heal everything completely, but it’s an incredible innovation nonetheless.
The reviews on both the flexibility and self-healing features are mixed, and the phones are both currently available only in Korea. Neither company has announced a U.S. sale date yet. So, while both phones have moved beyond the concept stage, it may be some time before U.S. consumers can get their hands on them.
A handful of dual screen smartphones have already made their way onto the international market, including NEC’s Medias W N-05E and Kyocera’s Echo. However, either the phones never took off because of their clunky design, or they’re not yet available in the United Sates. The most recent foray into the double screen market comes from Russia.
In early December, 2013, a Russian company, called Yota Devices, unveiled a smartphone with two screens. The phone, aptly called YotaPhone, is available in Russia and limited European markets. The standard Android display appears on one side of the phone, but when flipped over, the user will see an e-ink screen on the other side. In this sense, the phone is always ‘on’.
While there is no projected date for when the YotaPhone will be available in the United States, it just might be a good thing. The dual screens could very well double driver’s chances of being involved in texting and driving accidents (9 people are killed every day in distracted driving car accidents).
In early December, 2013, a team from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) unveiled an app that serves as a 3D scanner. It works in a fairly straightforward manner. The user points his or her camera at the object, moves the camera around the object as needed, and the app does the rest of the work. All of the required calculations happen immediately, and once completed, the user can view the fully complete 3D image from any angle.
The 3D scanning app is not a traditional 3D picture app. Unlike with some 3D apps, this app can be used anywhere. Also, the image is recorded by the app, but so is the actual size. That’s important because a key function of the app is to assist those who want to use the recorded images for the purpose of 3D printing.
The app is not yet available, though there are other quasi-similar apps available, including one called Trimensional. However, the app only works in zero light, does not recreate images nearly as well, and has other limitations that make the new app all the more appealing.
With the advancements in 3D printing, it’s very likely that the Zurich 3D scanning app, as well as other similarly advanced apps, will be on the market soon. However, there has not been a release date announced by ETHZ.
All of these advancements in cell phone technology just may make us even more smartphone-obsessed. Regardless of how cool today’s smartphone advancements are, though, as soon as we learn enough about current technology and applications to appreciate them, it seems like there’s always something newer and even more clever coming down the line!