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The (near) future of mobiles

‎30-04-2012 12:20
‎30-04-2012 12:20

“Prepare to be amazed!” could be the tag line for one of this summer’s blockbusters. This year looks again be dominated by super hero movies. Batman returns for more dark and moody adventures. A new spiderman series will start in “The Amazing Spiderman” and favorites of the past few years Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk have united to save the world in the Avengers. 


If you have seen any of the superheroes recent outings you are likely to be dazzled by the technologies our heroes and villains use. This seems the realm of Sci-Fi. However you too will soon be able to equip yourself with mobiles with some superhero powers.


Near field communication


You might not be speeding around in the hoverboard from Back to the Future but soon you will be able to make payments faster and without a card or coins. 


By placing your phone near the payment terminal you will be able to authorise payments from your bank account or credit provider. If its less than £15 the payment goes straight through - over £15 input a pin into the terminal.


See a taxi fare paid superfast in the new Visa London 2012 advert 




When to expect it:- Its here. Early days though. Samsung, Blackberry and LG are offering a range of NFC enabled phones. At present you need to preload your phone with cash though via a special app. Expect more seamless integration by the end of the year and payments direct from your bank or credit provider to follow. The next iPhone is expected to raise the bar with its expected release late 2012.


Micro projectors


Imagine being able to share your photos, presentations and movies on a wall. Now scrap that thought and get a preorder in for a Samsung Galaxy Beam.  A 50 inch projection can fill your wall at a resolution of 640 x 360 - a quarter of basic HD but still very nice.


See the Samsung Galaxy Beam in action


When to expect it:- Samsung Galaxy Beam is expected to launch in the UK in July. Other manufacturers are likely to follow.




3G is fast. 4G is superfast. Up to 100 meg broadband on your phone will become a reality in the near future. Thats about ten times higher than the present average landline broadband speed in the UK. 


You may wonder if you need more speed. A faster data connection means no more buffering on YouTube, almost instantaneous song downloads and less waiting for a picture to upload to Facebook.


When to expect it:- The new iPad is 4G ready but unfortunately it looks like UK networks will not be able to provide a 4G service until 2013.


Haptic feedback


Remember keys on phones? miss them? not to fear haptic feedback is coming to a smartphone near you. 


Haptic feedback gives on-screen objects texture. It replicates physical edges, textures and contours. Phone users will be once again able to ‘touch’ buttons and game users will be able to ‘feel’ a joypad even though the screen is flat. Expect haptic feedback to redefine how you interact with your phone. ‘Ok’ buttons could feel glossy and smooth while ‘cancel’ buttons could be rough and unappealing to touch. Opportunities are only limited by the app developers imagination. 


See a haptic feedback tablet below


When to expect it:- unbelievably for such a futuristic technology - Christmas 2012


This article was written by Samuel Harvey, a freelance tech journalist and app developer.

Follow me on Twitter: @samuelwharvey 




rocket scientist
can't wait

i thought that the upcoming '4G' in the UK is not actually proper 4G? but LTE, which is more like 3.5G?

giffgaff head-scratcher darrenpainter
giffgaff head-scratcher

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) loosened its definition of 4G to include LTE, WiMax, and HSPA+.

Mobile carriers were ignoring the official defintion by that time in their push to market whatever higher than 3G technology they were implementing


HSPA is nearer to 3.5G and LTE is nearer to 3.9G


I'm sure the first person who plays the scene of Princess Lea saying "Help me Obi Wan. Your my only hope...", on that Galaxy Beam, must surely receive some sort of geek prize? Smiley Very Happy


Looks cool though...


I also, really, can't wait for 4G. Smiley Happy It'll, hopefully, be so much better than my 2.5 Mbps Home Broadband. And maybe even better than my giffgaff 3-4Mbps 3G signal?


I really like the idea of using your phoneasa projector as with the Samsung Galaxy Beam.

Brilliant idea

im actually pretty impressed with the size of the samsung galaxy beam, i had expected a much chunkier handset! although i would sturggle to see how often someone may want to use it and how much battery it would take up!


Senseg sounds awesome. Beam might be next big thing since camera phones!


Typical for the UK to lag behind most other countries in most things and O2's 3G presence is very underwhelming. And to think, Britannia ruled the waves... Smiley Very Happy

marvel andy0 marvel

I used an Oyster card when I went to the last giffgaff party.


There are or will be other instant payment card systems. 


If I get one I could glue it to the back of my phone, I suppose, but I don't see the point. I might stick it to another credit card, or the wallet they are in.