What’s Next, Smartphone?

A while back I wrote an article asking what else the iPhone could actually do. Well, some of those things actually came true. Because I’m a genius and can predict the future.

Well, reading that post I thought it would be interesting to see just what came true and how iPhones have actually changed over the last few years. It was 2011. The first Windows Phones were just coming out. Apple was staying pretty tame. And now, we have three versions of the iPhone 10 (one of which can scan your face) as well as the iPhone SE which is basically just an upgraded iPhone 5.

I separated the features into two categories in my old post. One was things that basically could be done. The second was a list of humorous iPuns. However, some of them came true as well. So, I’ll go through them all one by one.

The first feature the newest iPhone should have?

They could go the route of Motorola and make the iPhone a real desktop replacement. Set the phone in a dock which only props it up at a 10 degree angle. The phone would work as a sort of touch screen and track mouse. Attach a keyboard via Bluetooth. Attached to a monitor and you’d get more data on the screen and could watch movies and tv shows on a nice, bigger screen or home entertainment system.

Technically, Apple had ways to attach iPhones to larger screens to watch movies, not even counting Air Play. But also Motorola, Microsoft, Samsung, and Huawei have all had desktop modes in phones. But none of them ever took off. Samsung’s Dex doesn’t even need a special dock and it still isn’t utilized. So, really, it’s no wonder Apple doesn’t bother with it right now.

The iPhone could be your one and only credit card (yes, they areworking on this). Just swipe your phone and be on your way.

Apple Pay not only works on iPhones but also the Apple Watch. But also, Samsung Pay uses a technology that works on the “tap to pay” POS systems, but also the usual credit card swipe machines. But also…

The iPhone could employ 3D technologies. If setup properly, you could use the phone not only to take 3D pictures and videos, but also take 3D scans of objects and output those scans to 3D printers or software. You could also share 3D pictures right on the phone with a 3D screen. (some Android phones already do some of this. And there is an app for the current iPhone 4 which will allow you to take a 3D picture that can be manipulated)

Besides the very few phones that actually had 3D cameras (and the idea that phones these days routinely come with multiple rear facing cameras which can be used to simulate depth for changing the focal point of photos) the latest iPhones have a front facing camera array that includes depth sensors, which actually create a 3D model of your face. This can be used for unlocking the phone, but also to scan and model your face in order to transpose your facial expressions to animated emojis. Close enough.

The iPhone could be setup with microphones to allow a soldier to place the phone in the center of a room; the iPhone would send and collect subsonic audio to map out the structure of the room or building; using GPS to show locations and stitch different rooms or iPhones data together… but I guess this would only be used for the military.

Pretty sure I’m the only one working on this.

That Motorola phone has a fingerprint reader on it… c’mon Apple. You have my iFingerprint. Don’t you want my real fingerprint?

I’m pretty sure this happened not long after I made the original post. Everyone has a fingerprint reader these days. Samsung’s newest in-screen fingerprint reader isn’t the best. Qualcom’s is better. But Apple got rid of the fingerprint reader in favor of Face ID…

So overall, I did a pretty good job of predicting the future of the iPhone… or did I?

  • iTazer (the new phone for women everywhere)
  • iCredit (a credit card with Apple… might as well give them my soul, then)
  • i3D (I think Apple invented 3D…)
  • iHologram (they’d have to pay royalties to George Lucas)
  • iSonar (I was gonna say iDolphin, but I don’t think people would get it)
  • iBreath-alyzer (you’d find this on every teen’s Christmas list)
  • iDesktopReplacement (doesn’t Apple make desktops…?)
  • iDroid (like a snarky PDA. But, again, they’d have to pay Lucas some big bucks)
  • iPrint (like a Polaroid. What? You don’t know what a Poloroid is?)
  • iMorhper (“there’s no time to call the police! Periodontalasoarus! *SP-DOUCHE WHA WHA WHA!*
  • iDrive (you already race on your phone. Why not just drive your actual car with your phone. Or your plane. Or your tank. Or your Millenium Falcon… oh, ya… Lucas royalties)
  • iMemory (just hold the phone to your brain, copy your current state of mind. Should something depressing happen simply restore your mind from your phone…. “What happened to Uncle Chuck!?! RESTORE!”)

Well, you can’t taze people with your iPhone, but Apple did announce their credit card. There’s no real 3D or Holograms or sonars. You can buy a breathalyzer… Apple kind of has a desktop or laptop replacement, except they tout it as more of a Surface replacement. No Lucasfilm properties or Power Ranger accessories. There are some photo printers for phones out there. And last I heard… Apple was working on a car. Or a car interface. Not counting Car Play (or Android auto). And no singularity. At least that’s what Siri told me.

But now my question still stands. Where do we go from here? Are camera’s really the only thing left to upgrade on a phone? We’re getting foldable phones now… so are we “innovating” with form factors instead of features and components?

I’ll let you know in 8 years.

-Diggs out

P.S. – OMG it’s been 8 years since I wrote that other post!

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