Last year saw loads of new tech make its way to our phones, like shatterproof screens and eye-scanning security. So how will 2016 be able to top it? These are some of the best mobile technology trends to watch this year.
We’ve been waiting for foldable smartphones for years, but 2016 really could be the year we finally get one.
Way back in 2013, Samsung leaked a five-year plan for its mobile technology. Under the screen section, it pegged 2016 for foldable displays. These phones would fold up to fit in your pocket, but could have a screen the size of a tablet’s.
Samsung has already teased something called Project Valley (pictured below), so we even have a hint at what 2016’s folding phone could look like.
If folding your phone like a wallet doesn’t grab your attention, what about rolling up your TV like a poster?
2016 might be just a few days old, but LG has already publicly demoed an 18-inch rollable screen. It’s only the display that LG has managed to make super-bendy, with all the other hardware housed in a solid case at the bottom, but it’s still pretty amazing.
Given the screen size, it seems LG is thinking big tablet rather than smartphone, but there’s no reason the company couldn’t spend 2016 testing something like the picture below.
5G network testing
Now that most of us are used to 4G – and starting to think it’s a bit slow – the world’s biggest tech companies are looking towards 5G. And 2016 is when we’ll start to get a real idea of just how fast it is.
Last year we saw the first real-world test of the technology in the Chinese city of Chengdu, where download speeds hit 3.6Gbps (194 times faster than EE’s average speed). But this year, the Isle of Man could start testing a much bigger 5G network that’ll give us a better idea of its true capabilities.
Siri, Google Now and Cortana, the three big personal assistants on our smartphones, were the first steps on the road to making artificial intelligence an everyday thing. In 2016, we could suddenly move a lot further down that road.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, has said he plans to build an artificial intelligence that’ll help him around the home. He says it’ll be “like Jarvis in Iron Man”.
As this is a pet project for Zuckerberg, the technology won’t be available to ordinary people like us this year, but it’s worth keeping an eye on as he might sell it to us in the future.
Phone cameras to get worse on paper
We’re used to seeing the megapixel count on our camera phones climb ever higher, but that trend could stop in 2016.
We saw Google’s new Nexus smartphones buck the trend with their 12.3MP cameras in 2015, and there are rumours that Samsung could cut its flagship camera to 12MP too.
To compensate for the drop in pixels, we’re sure to see some great developments in camera technology in 2016 that’ll make our photos look better than ever.
Is there any mobile tech that you hope to see this year? Let us know in the comments below.