Here’s what the smartphone of the future looks like

I sense an old phone trying to contact you I can see in your past time when a new smartphone launch was exciting but lately your phone has been getting boring you want something more than that doesn’t look identical to the I’m from 4 years ago and Washington Post columnist Jeff Fowler and today I’m putting on my psychic hat and looking into my crystal ball at the future of our favorite Gadget the smartphone what made phones more useful in recent years has come through apps and artificial intelligence not new designs that’s going to keep happening but I see a surprising amount of innovation on the horizon that’s going to keep pushing phones forward back all sorts of directions let’s start by traveling to a future that already exists I’m going to show you a magic trick using this phone called the Vivo x 21 like so many other phones now it’s all screen on the front but I can use my phone unlock it like that Chinese smartphone makers Vivo and xiaomi are the first to use Tech from a company called synaptics that puts the fingerprint sensor behind the screen I expect to see in display fingerprint sensors on Samsung phones you can get in the US next year Vevo also did away with the unsightly not for the front facing camera and making it pop up in this phone call the NEX just don’t let that thing snap-off speaking of cameras in your future a phone that can seriously compete with big fancy cameras how check out this prototype phone from a company called the light that has 9 lenses yes 9 the idea is if they all show the same time those images can be combined into a single high-resolution photo that’s capable of capturing low-light and sophisticated affects the lens race is already on this P20 phone from Huawei is the first to have three lenses on the back one is for color photos zoom and one black and white to help you in the dark now let’s look deeper I see you in a past life you had a folding phone flip phone I see it coming back but very different more like a folding tablet that’s also a phone fans of the HBO show Westworld might have seen it’s near futuristic concept of a folding computer isn’t just science fiction last year Chinese phone makers need to eat came out with a dual screen phone called the axon M the next step is a phone that folds up without any hinges for 2 years Samsung has been teasing technology OLED screens that don’t break and recently other display there such as China have begun showing off bendable screen tattoo like this book cellphone at a recent trade show industry-watchers think we’ll see a phone that does this Samsung as soon as next year so my fellow futurists where does the phone go in the long run my crystal ball gets a little hazy 10 years out but it seems to indicate the smartphone as we know it I might just disappear and be replaced by glasses wait wasn’t Google Glass of giant flop yes it was but there’s some reason to think it was just ahead of its time already available through phone cameras and screens overlay is useful information like directions or Pokemon Critters on to the real world now imagine if we could get that info without having to look at our phones well-funded startups magically are working on their own mixed reality headgear that is yet to come out Apple Watchers think they’re working on some too already today you can get devices like these $400 AR dream glasses that project information from a phone onto the so it looks like it’s in front of you like this welcome to the Future okay it might not look exactly like this but the smartphone of Science Fiction might be reality sooner than you think I see and upgrading your future
Foldable screens are just the beginning. The Post’s Geoffrey A. Fowler looks into his crystal ball at the tech innovations coming soon to smartphone design, cameras and screens. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube:

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