Mobile phones have come a long way. You only have to look at archive footage from the 1980s to see business people catching up on news while holding massive, unwieldy, brick-sized objects. Phones have become steadily more compact, sleeker in design and easier to pop inside a pocket or in a handbag compartment, even as the range of functions they are capable of continues expanding.
One of the all-pervading buzzwords of modern times is 'apps'. There are thousands of apps which can be downloaded to your phone, enabling you to do a whole range of stuff, from identifying and then purchasing snatches of overheard music, to real-time train timetables, to star-charts of the night sky.
With so much technology, literally, at your fingertips, what are the likely trends for the next decade or so? Phones are likely to get smaller still, as hardware designers keep on coming up with innovative ideas to compact those circuit boards and plastic shells. The multi-purpose aspect of phones will be covered – it is a long time since these items were purely used for telephone communication. Even the tiniest models will be offering increasingly sharp high-definition screens. When used as a picture frame, your phone will form a comforting focal point for you wherever you are, in the office or at home.
Phones will become increasingly customizable, allowing the customer to have greater input into how their own mobile phone will look. As well as a choice from a range of Perspex cases, you'll be able to purchase from a host of attachments. Advances in case designs will mean that your phone will offer a multi-sensory experience for the user. Even when it is not actually in use, it could be emitting scents, or radiating coloured lights. The latter aspect will be particularly useful for those occasions when your phone has annoyingly disappeared from your immediate field of vision!
With society becoming more and more fixated on being eco-friendly, your phone will ingather information in areas such as how much electricity and gas you consume, and how you dispose of waste. This data will be saved into your phone, with the incentive of free texts or calls the more environmentally friendly you prove to be.
Finally, new generations of mobile phones will use artificial intelligence that will allow them to tap into a user's emotions, such as anger or happiness. Phones will also recognise the voice of their owner, allowing for a much more streamlined interaction, particularly where voice-activated software is concerned.