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What will phones look like in 5 years time?

When it comes to assessing your customer service needs, it’s important to look at choosing the right telecoms system for your business. You may, for example, rely on making and taking lots of calls every day to keep everything running smoothly. An efficient telephone system will help you to streamline good communication between your company and your customers. With over 90% of the world’s population now owning a smartphone, the telephone can offer a fast, quick and personal interaction.   

Telephone technology has already changed so much over the last five or so years, take, for example, the abundance of smartphone apps now at our fingertips. But what does the future have in store for this piece of tech that we seem to be unable to live without? Let’s engage in a little bit of fantasy, and consider the future of the telephone over the next five years …

Go go gadget glasses

The majority of phones these days are used with a touchscreen, or some older models still have a physical keypad. But it’s not going to stay this way for long. It’s already possible to control some parts of your phone with your voice – and that’s just the beginning. Although Google Glass failed to capture the consumer market, with its hands-free spectacle technology, Facebook and Ray Ban launched their Stories glasses, with a built-in camera, speakers and hands-free voice controls in September 2021. Apple have also been focusing on their AR/VR offering with an augmented reality product rumoured to launch in the near future. Or what about the ability to type with your mind? This might seem far-fetched, but the technology is already being developed by scientists at Stanford University in the USA whereby a ‘brain-computer interface’ converts mental handwriting into words on a screen.

Sub-dermal mobiles

A slightly more out-there option – but just as possible with the right technological breakthroughs. What if you never had to worry about carrying your phone around with you again, because you are the phone! Experts say that embeddable ‘phones’ or ‘cell-phone implants’ that use wireless technology could be commercially viable in the next couple of years. Biohacking, bio implants and bio wearables might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but they could be much closer than you think. In the future, advancements in biochemistry may be able to perfect a kind of sub-dermal telephone, one that requires no handset – just your arm. The screen and all functionality would be linked into your own biology, so you could do things like make phone calls simply by tapping some glowing icons on your arm. It’s the ultimate wearable!

Shape-shifting phones

The first flip phone was developed by Motorola in 1996, but foldable phones are making a comeback, with smartphone models now changing the way that we traditionally use our phones. By changing the way the device is held, they can go from being a smartphone to being a tablet and vice versa, merging these two devices into one smart solution. Samsung is leading the way in developing their folding smartphones, but rumours suggest a folding iPhone isn’t too far away. Or how about a size-changing, stretchable phone? LG has recently created a stretchable display screen complete with free-form technology that enables it to be extended, folded and twisted without any distortion or damage. Obviously there would be a limit to how far you could stretch the display, but in theory it could mean you could turn a 6-inch phone into a 9-inch one and back, giving you all the advantages of a small screen and a big one. Samsung is already working on a screen that unrolls to make it bigger.

Will we even need smartphones at all?

So then there’s the big question – will we even have smartphones in five years’ time? With the rise of AI and voice search, it’s entirely possible that we could be using smart home devices such as the Echo Dot to do all of our mobile phone interactions for us. With smart devices to search the web, make voice calls and interact with the world around us, the future days of the smartphone could well be numbered.

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