Samsung’s latest smartphone will doubtless go on to win many awards. But, like many a recent smartphone, it’s short on talking points. What do manufacturers need to do to make smartphones cool again?
Excuse me while I don my ‘humbug’ hat, but the Samsung Galaxy S4 is boring. You can read all the Samsung Galaxy S4 details on our sister site Which? Tech Daily, but the basics are as follows – it’s slightly bigger, sharper and has lots of gimmicks no one will use. Sure, it’s faster and slicker than the phone it replaces, but that’s the least anyone expects.
Indeed, the only thing more boring would be me moaning about this for another 400 words, so instead I pose a question – what will make smartphones interesting again?
1. Real intelligent voice recognition
Current voice recognition systems are far from perfect, but they hold the key to the next leap in how we interact with the technology we use everyday.
When I can perform any action using voice commands alone; when my smartphone uses information intelligently to help me make better decisions; when I don’t have to fumble around correcting typos – that’s the day I’ll be blown away.
2. Complete home automation
Imagine your phone knowing exactly how long the heating needs to be on to maintain a comfortable temperature; imagine knowing exactly how much power every item in your house uses. Technology that saves us money is the best kind of tech.
3. Fully-featured cameras
Don’t mistake me – smartphone cameras, particularly those on the top phones like the Galaxy S4, are fantastic. But they’re still limited. They don’t have zoom lenses and the LED flashes are weak. A phone that solves these problems without sacrificing form and function elsewhere will have a killer feature worth shouting about.
4. A PC in my pocket
Smartphones are sometimes referred to as computers, and in terms of what they’re made up of this is true. They don’t, however, serve the same purpose as a PC, but they could.
As processor technology advances, it’s totally possible that the only actual PC we own is a smartphone. A smartphone that can interface with screens, docks and other accessories to make it the only ‘computer’ you need. We’ve seen some companies toying with such ideas – Asus’ Padfone range of smartphones that dock into and power tablet screens being the prime example. Microsoft, too, could be argued to be experimenting with this concept with its Surface tablets, albeit with mixed results. But we’re still not quite there yet.
So there are a few of my ideas to make smartphones interesting again. But what would make you stand up and take notice?