In two years a foldable phone will be pretty much mainstream
In two years a foldable phone will be pretty much mainstream

Techilicious by Rajiv Makhni: What phones will be like in two years

These features are not nearly as sci-fi as you may think!
Hindustan Times | By Rajiv Makhni
UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2020 09:31 PM IST

In 1965, when Dean Martin wrote the song The first thing every morning and the last thing every night, little would he know that the lyrics of that song would now apply more to that little slab of tech than to any human in your life. But that was in the past. What shape and features and aspects will your phone take in the future? It’s easy to go wild with insane predictions about a device 10 years from now. What’s more difficult is to predict it two years from now. Here is what our smartphones will look and behave like in 2022.

Fold, bend, curve: The norm

In two years a foldable phone will be pretty much mainstream and will not cost 10 to 15 per cent more than a normal phone. And the form factors will all evolve to some totally incredible sizes and shapes.

What it won’t be!

Your phone won’t have a holographic display (3D projections emitting out of the screen), it won’t be embedded into contact lenses that you can wear (battery to power these all day and miniaturisation of tech still isn’t there yet). There will be no mesh network phones (each phone will also be small little mobile tower to other phones, thus no dropped calls) and over the air charging (transmitters that power your phone wirelessly even when it’s in your pocket). None of this will happen in two years. Each is very much possible and will happen. Just not in 2022.

Camera number mania

With each extra camera added, our photography has improved. Each lens plays a role and shoots things differently. By 2022 we will be at around nine cameras at the back and three in the front and as close to a full sensor main camera as will be possible to fit into the slim frame of a phone.

Battery Life: A week

I’m not being hopeful here. It’s truly time for a paradigm shift. Being thrilled with a whole day of battery life and fast charging is a bit of scam being played on us. There is enough new chemistry (lithium-air) and innovation in new battery technology that will shift us to serious battery life very soon. One week of battery life by 2022 and a month by 2024.

Type with your mind

You may still not be able to control your phone with your mind and open and close apps, but typing with your phone at the speed you can think may happen in the next two years. I’ve seen prototypes, plus scientists at MIT and almost every other major R&D space have something that is close to going mainstream. Thus 150 words a minute ‘thinking emails’ on your phone are around the corner.

Invisible cameras, sensors and ports

Cameras will disappear behind the main screen in the front and the glass at the back, fingerprint sensors will be the whole front screen, and charging and other ports will all be wireless. This will also go a long way in making phones completely waterproof and dustproof.

Oppo ColorOS 7 style security

The Oppo ColorOS 7 nails privacy and security. The doc vault in the OS in partnership with the government’s digilocker service for bank passbooks and Aadhaar card, and the private safe secures personal photos and documents in a secure vault. It even stops apps from leeching data from your phone that you don’t want to share.

There are many things that may happen in the next two years: 6K or 8K screens, self healing materials, unbreakable screens and a whole lot more. Of course, when we talk about the future of smartphones, the other favourite question always pops up. Will there even be smartphones in the future? Now that’s fodder for a new column!

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

Techilicious appears every fortnight

From HT Brunch, February 16, 2020

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