Moore’s law is running out – is that a challenge for mobile phone manufacturers?
Moore’s Law, suggested that processor performance would double approximately once every 18 months. It’s that trend which has been behind much of smartphone’s capability improvements. As processing power improved, so did the number of tasks our phones could complete. However, some have suggested that we are about to arrive within the limits of Moore’s Law. Some observers believe that corporations such as Samsung and Apple, that manufacture smart devices, will soon hit a performance ceiling.
Below: Does Moore’s Law’s Plateau Represent A Ceiling For Smartphone Performance?
The following are a few examples of what to expect from mobile phones in the future.
Artificial Intelligence Is Now Being Built Into Many Smartphones
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is included in an increasing component of many modern smartphone devices. It is AI calculations which determine what your Virtual Assistant (be it ‘OK Google’ or ‘Siri’) responds with. It’s AI which resolves your Red Eye issues in the pictures you take and let you search your image library for ‘cats’ without requiring you to personally review each picture.
Artificial Intelligence has been incorporated into some smartphones already but most of them only offer basic features that are still under development. The key changes that have been made so far, relate to the types of processors that are used in smartphones. ARM and Intel, the world’s largest two semiconductors (microprocessor) manufacturers are producing smartphone chips which are optimized to improve the processing of AI-related tasks.
In the future, AI is going to make our relationship with our phones even more intuitive. Features such as facial recognition will automate the information that’s shown to us about who we’re dealing with, as well as improving the security of our devices.
AI and Machine Learning (ML) will be used to analyze your usage behavior, establishing trends from it and anticipating what you will want to do next, based on previous similar actions. Your mobile data connection will link your smartphone and the information on it to the best AI algorithms in the cloud. This will enable the phone to provide services that are more intuitive and tailored to its specific user, often without them even realizing.
Longer Battery Life
Battery life is one smartphone characteristic that manufacturing companies have been keen to address, above all others.
Aside from what kind of features they stand to benefit from by using a specific phone, the time they can use a phone on a single charge is a key underserved customer requirement.
Whatever the amazing features of some phones, the value of the product goes down when they can only be used for a short while before you have to change it again. The current best in class technology is Lithium Ion batteries. Lithium is the lowest density of metal which means it offers the best charge/weight of any option.
And there lies the problem. It seems every week, there is a promise of a phone that will charge in 30 seconds or a new battery that only requires a charge every week.
The most promising battery technology is, I’m afraid, still at least several years away. Lithium-Air batteries could store up to 40 times the charge of a Lithium Ion alternative. As the name suggests, in this potential future battery, the Lithium inside reacts with the air to release energy. Lithium Air batteries weigh less and last longer, too. In the future, it is expected that manufacturers will be in a position to guarantee longer usage hours on a single charge. The mode of charging is also expected to change.
The advancements that have been made in the field of AI have enabled Virtual Assistant to become more efficient, effective and intuitive. So far, Google Assistant, Siri and Samsung’s Bixby are some of the most popular voice assistants. More are expected in the near future.
The impact of Virtual Assistants on the way we interact with our phones and technology more generally should not be underestimated. Virtual Assistants are now at almost human levels of understanding what’s said to them. Soon, they will be better than humans in noisy environments, the holy grail of Voice Recognition. At that point, it’s likely that in most situations, the easiest and therefore most popular method of completing a task with your smartphone will be to talk to it. The result could be a lot less typing, a lot less screen time and a lot more discussion with computers – a dramatic shift in the way we interact when compared to today.
Durability and Flexibility
Over the years, mobile phone corporations have driven hard to constantly improve the physical integrity of their products. Many different kinds of materials have been used to develop mobile phones, making them lighter and stronger over time. Unfortunately, there was always a battle between what was ‘Right’ and what was expedient for phone companies. Durability increases mean people need to replace their phones more often – the opposite of what manufacturers want us to do.
However, some suppliers, are convincing handset manufacturers that durability is a featured customer will value and supplying parts to make phones last longer. Innovations include Gorilla Glass which stops your keys scratching the screen of your phone, waterproofing which has saved many a dropped phone and screen strength improvements which mean your phone is more likely to survive a drop. In the future, it will be very hard to scratch your screen or break your phone. They are also expected to be very light; some may even be able to fold at different angles.
Innovation in phones is still far from over
Mobile phones play a pivotal role in our daily lives. They provide an avenue for us to interact and share moments with others and also keep our lives organized.
Smartphone and software manufacturing corporations are keen to make sure that this is a trend that continues; they are dedicated to developing innovative features to ensure that every phone is better than the last and for now, at least, Moore’s Law isn’t slowing them down.