Top 10 future trends for mobile phones

The mobile industry moves at such a fast space, it's often hard to keep up. But what are the big predicted future trends coming to a smartphone near us? We roundup 10 of the best.

Augmented reality is the future. As end-users we've had our initiation with Google's 'Goggles', 'Layar', 'Wikitude' and 'Last Minute's Nru', among others, but the flow of AR technology into the marketplace is only just beginning.

We can look forward to true location awareness, enabling clients to view couriers progress in real-time, AR for emergency services, showing the location of victims of crime or accident by their cellular signal and many other greatly useful applications to make our professional lives more efficient and safer.

Aside from general advancement in AR apps, we can also expect a range of devices offering AR replacements for traditional methods of human input, ranging from projected keyboards and touchpads to eye-dialling your phone via a heads-up display while driving. AR is also likely to fill the void between 2D projection and holographic, allowing users to conference and work in a CG environment, sharing information and tools and interacting via virtual controls and workspaces.

The application of AR technology will go beyond smartphones though. Indeed, expect to see augmented advertising hoardings and other interactive media as the norm in the coming years.

Desktop replacement

As processor manufacturers continue developing smaller, less power hungry and increasingly powerful products the traditional desktop computer edges nearer and nearer the door. With tablets like Dell's Streak and Nokia's N900 we've been given almost complete desktop functionality in the palm of our hand.

The successors to those devices will be empowered by multi-core processors, advanced graphic processing units and more RAM and ROM than you can shake a stick at. Enabling users to carry out every task they could want on their handheld, and de-centralising the workplace in ways not seen since the introduction of the World Wide Web. Expect to see super-mobile, super-powerful devices that you can plug into your display when you're in the office and work on when you're on the move.

In the more immediate future we can expect to see Nokia's follow up to the geek-friendly N900, sporting ARM's latest Cortex-A9 processor and a lush capacitive touch screen, and no doubt the next generation of Apple's iPad, which also runs on hardware provided by the British chip manufacturer. The iPad may have divided the community like the business equivalent of marmite, but it certainly heralded a new approach to super-mobile computing which we feel will be the standard in years to come.

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