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Mobile technology has come a long way since the first phones to hit the market. What was once a brick that could merely make calls and send basic text messages has now evolved into a fully-fledged smart phone loaded with infinite capabilities. 


Whether you own an Android or iOS smart phone, the world is constantly at your fingertips, wrapped up in neat packaging and supported by a lithium iron battery that is portable. You can send emails, claim a casino slots bonus, watch the news or engage with others on social media, all from the palm of your hand.


That's exactly why new age devices like smartphones have become all the rage, and in some cases even led to addiction. Our modern lifestyles require get up and go living, new smartphones in 2017 have given us the possibility of on the go computing, with complete confidence and independence. 


The following features aren't exactly fresh off the technology press. These emerging mobile technologies are already starting to have an impact on the way we use our smart phones. Given the time and advances in these tech fields, the following emerging mobile technology could be flipping the smartphone on its ear for good. 


Forget About A Carrier With Wi-Fi Phones


Traditionally, mobile phones have relied upon a mobile carrier/network in order to be connected to the cellular realm. In today's modern times, the use of a carrier is becoming less and less attractive with new smartphones that can connect to a Wi-Fi network to make VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol calls without the use of a computer. 


This means that you no longer have to be associated with a particular network carrier in order to make and receive phone calls. It's forward thinking Tech that could also see your phone bill dramatically decreased come month end. 


Augmented Reality In Mobile Devices 



Augmented Reality technology is making waves in the mobile world with more and more uses for the tech; smart phones could be seeing an even smarter realization very soon. 


Augmented Reality technology captures our world in a layer style approach and superimposes it into the digital world. Since your smartphone is king of digital space at the moment, it only makes sense that more and more apps would be developed around AR. 


Users can look forward to features that would ideally incorporate the Internet, accelerometers and GPS devices to bring your world to life on your phone. The end result could have you pointing your smartphone at a random building only for your phone to dive into the buildings history, location, occupancy and more. 


Open Your World With Open Source Software


Developers are looking into bringing the world open source software for mobile phones. There are some big names on the playground already, with the likes of Google and Yahoo set to create this software for almost any mobile phone.


If open source smart phones become available it would mean a better user experience all round. Some of the advantages include enhanced features/mobile compatibility and lower costs derived from open source trade in the market place. 


These mobile services would be able to do just about everything current smart phones do and more at a minimal cost to customer. 


Make Payments With Your Smart Phone



With Near Field Communication technology improving at a rapid rate, it's becoming more and more accessible to use your smartphone as a payment portal. 


Users simply scan their mobile device and use an app that is directly linked to your debit or credit card and your payment is almost instant. When the technology has been perfected there won't even be a need for a wallet anymore, as your mobile phone will store all your information. 


Realistic Typing With Tactile Feedback


Most modern mobile phones have touch screen technology that is responsive and quick to the take. Some users do however have an issue with the response rate and feeling the keys slide away under your thumbs only to deliver a word that was never supposed to be there in the first place.


Certain smart phone developers like Blackberry tried to bridge this gap by offering users the best of both worlds, with a fully functional touch screen and keypad for texting/typing.


Now developers are looking into a touchscreen that would feel more responsive and ergonomic. This tech is still in development but we could potentially be seeing it in smartphones in 2018.


UFS

 

Korean newspaper ETNews has outed a report citing a Samsung insider, who claims the company is going to use a next-gen NAND flash storage in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6. The storage technology in question is called UFS 2.0, which stands for Universal Flash Storage.

 

UFS can reach SSD-like transfer speeds, but is cheap to manufacture like eMMC memory chips. In fact, it's three times faster than eMMC memory with a transfer speed of up to 1.2GB/s. Power consumption is lower than eMMC storage, which won't lead to battery drains or overheating. Recent UFS 2.0 technology development has lead to half the power consumption of eMMC 5.0, the source says.

 

Samsung

 

The standard is established under the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) initiative by Samsung, Nokia and Micron in 2007. Toshiba and SK Hynix are also involved in the development of the UFS 2.0 memory. Samsung is expected to start mass producing the new NAND flash storage in the coming weeks.

 

"UFS is an important element for our smart phone business next year. We will start the application centering on flagship smart phones, However, we cannot disclose any details because the time of a new smart phone release next year and specifications of this new model have not been finalized." - Source Inside Samsung

 

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infographic

 

Today, Samsung released an Infographic that showcases the Evolution of communication technology starting from 1st Generation (1G) to the 4th Generation (4G LTE-A) smartphones.

 

The infographic first presents the Samsung SH-100, a bulky device that was launched way back in 1988 as Samsung's very first mobile phone. It then takes us through the mid 1990s (with the Samsung SCH-100, the world's first commercialized CDMA phone), and through the early 2000s (when the SCH-E100 was released as the world's first 3G, 1X EV-DO handset).

 

Not long after that, HSDPA became available at about the same time with the rise of smartphones. Next was LTE, however, the world's first LTE-capable handset wasn't a smartphone: it was the Samsung SCH-R900, a featurephone with a WVGA touchscreen display and a sliding QWERTY keyboard. The Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4 LTE-A, and the Galaxy S5 Broadband LTE are also mentioned.

 

infographic

 


Google Battery

 

Stanford University scientists made a breakthrough in making a flexible aluminum battery. Today, Google revealed that a small team of scientists working on a next-generation battery technology for consumer electronics.

 

As part of the Google X research lab, Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj is working with three other scientists on about 20 different battery-dependent projects. As a former battery expert at Apple, Dr. Bhardwaj and his team is now trying to push the envelope of the lithium-ion battery technology further. He is also testing solid-state batteries for consumer devices.

 

Google

 

Google joins a list of tech giants which are trying to improve the battery technology for future, including Apple, Tesla, and IBM among others. We are yet to see whether and how the search giant plans to to utilize this technology.

 

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Wireless charging is a ground breaking technology that lets you charge your devices without mingling with cables or faulty USB ports. Simply put your phone on a wireless charging surface and all will be taken care of. That comes with a negative element - while charging you can not use your phone.


Si-Ware Systems and Ossia have come up with a new system called Cota which can be used to charge compatible phones within a 30 foot radius. While devices can consume a maximum of 6 watts for charging, this system is capable of transferring 10 watts power. This is nowhere near the Quick Charge 2.0, but it does a pretty decent job considering all the factors. Thanks to the radio frequency technology - the device charging won't be affected negatively in case of minor obstructions.


This technology doesn't only apply to smartphone and wearable devices. Things like wireless keyboards can also be charged via this system without plugging in anything. The device will be charged till the time you are near the charger.


Although the effect of constantly charging the devices for 12 hours in day is yet to be found out, we all can agree that this is indeed a great step forward.

 

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ambient charger

 

Battery life is usually number one on the list of concerns that users have when choosing a new mobile device. Battery technology has been slow to keep up with the devices that are with us all day long, and so manufacturers have had to take other routes larger devices for larger batteries, or faster charging. But, a new breakthrough with sound waves could let you leave your charger behind for good.

 

Researchers with Queen Mary University of London have teamed up with Nokia to build the first prototype smartphone that can be charged using only sound waves. QMUL's Dr. Joe Briscoe and Dr. Steve Dunn first came upon the idea last year when they noticed that playing music improved the performance of solar cells. From there, the team developed a nanogenerator capable of collecting energy from ambient sound. The key to the nanogenerator was zinc oxide, which can create voltage when it expands and contracts. Zinc oxide was formed into nanorods which could generate five volts of electricity, enough to charge a phone.

 

ambient

 

The team has already been able to cut costs of production for the nanogenerators, but the technology still needs time to mature and be built to scale. Ultimately though, it could mean that mobile devices of the future will be charged with the everyday sounds around you, like traffic, music, or even just talking. As the technology matures, it could extend battery life, or mean that you'll never have to plug in your phone again.

 

 

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bluetooth 4.2


Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced the Bluetooth version 4.2 wireless protocol. Bluetooth 4.2 delivers a number of improvements over its predecessor headed by the ability to connect to the internet.

 

The new Bluetooth version will be up to 2.5x faster than past releases thanks to a tenfold packet capacity increase. The latest Bluetooth protocol will offer beefed up privacy too beacons attempting to track a device will be required a user permission.

 

Bluetooth smart

 

Privacy features of Bluetooth 4.2 may be available to older devices via a firmware update. The increased speed of the newcomer will require upgraded hardware though.

 

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lamar

 

Next time you are using Wi-Fi on your cellphone, or connected to a 4G LTE signal, keep in mind that the person you need to thank for these innovations is an actress who received a patent in 1942 for "spread spectrum technology" that is currently used in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 4G LTE technology. The actress was born in Austria as Hedwig Kiesler and you might know her as Hedy Lamarr.

 

Besides her talents as an actress, Lamarr happened to be born with an incredible mind. After marrying one of the richest men in Austria, Friedrich Mandl, she would end up at her husband's side as he would have dinner with men like Hitler and Mussolini. Mandl was the largest arms manufacturer in Austria and the topic at the dinner table would sometimes revolve around radio-controlled missiles and torpedoes.

 

While pretending to be bored at these dinners, Lamarr actually soaked up the information. After running off to America, she became one of the country's biggest movie stars toiling for MGM during the 1940's. But at the same time, she developed a wireless communication system that couldn't be jammed. Her goal was to help the Allies defeat the Nazis. Back then, most wireless systems used one frequency which made it easy to block. The actress came up with a way for the message to be sent over another frequency if the original one was jammed. "Frequency hopping" was the term that was used to describe the technology.

 

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samsung battery

 

The most important part of any new Smartphone or tablet is the battery, that powers everything in that device. Batteries capacities (mAh) has increased slightly over the last decade but not as expected. As we can't make batteries any bigger, increases in raw capacity are needed, and researchers have been looking to new materials to find the solution.


This is where Samsung's research comes in. The company has come up with a new coating method for battery cathodes, which overcomes the cycling performance and capacity limitations imposed by current implementations. The new process makes use of that excellent conductive material known as Graphene, which is grown directly onto the silicon coating surface without silicon carbide formation.

 

Battery tech

 

Samsung's researchers claim that its technique allows the full cell to reach volumetric energy densities of 972 and 700 Wh l-1 at first and 200th cycle respectively, when paired with a commercial lithium cobalt oxide cathode. This is around 1.8 and 1.5 times greater than commercialized lithium ion batteries, meaning more battery capacity for a given area. Typically, these type of designs reduce the battery's life span due to more charge and discharge cycles, but this time the researchers also claim good cycling performance, due to its multi-layer design.

 

Samsung expects that its breakthrough will have important implications for both mobile devices and the electric car industry, which both really need additional battery capacity. However, like most new ideas, industry observers expect that the technology is at least two or three years away from commercialization.

 

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Android

 

Android's Stagefright vulnerability was so serious it had phone makers pledging left and right that they will provide security updates for their handsets. Clearly mobile security is important and Qualcomm wants to enable it at the hardware level with Snapdragon 820 and the new feature called "Smart Protect".

 

Based on Qualcomm's Zeroth machine learning platform, Smart Protect will keep an eye out for abnormal app behavior in real time (and with little power usage). The platform will help move much of malware detection from the cloud onto the device.

 

qualcomm

 

Qualcomm will provide software that will protect user data and privacy, but third-party apps can also hook up to Smart Protect - Avast, AVG and Lookout are working to integrate the new feature into their mobile apps.

 

Highlights of Snapdragon Smart Protect
• Personal Protection – Snapdragon Smart Protect provides robust security and enhanced personal privacy for today’s mobile environment, empowering end users with greater control over personal data and by detecting and classifying spyware, adware and other malicious app behavior.
• Superior Behavioral Analysis – Using Qualcomm Zeroth cognitive computing technology, Snapdragon Smart Protect enables OEMs and mobile security solution providers to enhance anti-malware and privacy protection services with real-time, behavioral-based machine learning that is designed to detect and classify zero-day and transformational malware.
• Power-efficient performance – Snapdragon Smart Protect offers optimal performance through on-device design and uniquely deep access to hardware and software of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, enabling malware detection and critical data processing on the device, rather than in the cloud.

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As the most recent statistics from OFCOM reveal, mobile phone use in the UK is now almost universal with 94% of adults owning or using a mobile (Q1 2017). Of these, 76% have a smartphone (Q1 2017), while the number of households that are ‘mobile only' has risen to 18%. Combined with this significantly greater use, the proliferation of apps that we use for everything from booking tickets to watching what we eat would seem to suggest that our reliance on our mobile devices is only going to increase.


One of the most significant changes that mobile technology has brought about is the way we pay for goods and services. There has been a rapid and significant increase in the number of people in the UK who make purchases both online and in person using a mobile phone.


This has in large part been brought about by a significant increase in the use of contactless payment cards across the UK, along with other mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, Boku, along with a burgeoning range of person-to-person (P2P) apps that enable you to instantly transfer money electronically to another individual, often without having to go through a bank.


However, while the number of contactless card payments in the UK as a whole has grown exponentially (more than £25 billion was spent via contactless payments in 2016), it has been interesting to note that UK consumers have not embraced other forms of mobile payment quite so readily. For instance, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay have not quite had the impact many expected (despite the fact that the number of Apple Pay transactions in 2016 grew by 300%).


While most people in the UK are more than happy to use a contactless debit or credit card (i.e., a card that does not need to be inserted into a card reader and for which no PIN is required) to make a payment at a supermarket or coffee shop, they have not necessarily seen the need to move over to alternative payment systems where only a mobile phone is needed, such as those offered by Apple, Google and Samsung. For instance, payments made using Apple Pay or Android Pay by passengers on Transport for London services account for only 8% of all contactless card payments (albeit this figure is up from 3.5% twelve months earlier).


Security concerns are cited by some as preventing them embracing card-free payment technology, while others have not seen a pressing need to adopt the technology given that existing ‘tap and go' or ‘wave and pay' cards largely do the same job. There is also the sentiment expressed by many consumers that losing a mobile phone or having it stolen is a traumatic enough experience without the added complication of card security being compromised as well.


Another reason that has prevented greater uptake of mobile payment services has been their hitherto relatively limited acceptance, meaning that consumers haven't found that there are enough opportunities to use the system to warrant switching over to it entirely.


However, two important factors point towards much faster growth in the mobile payments sector in the very near future. Firstly, the demographics. The latest available data from 2016 showed that almost 60% of payments made in the UK using Apple Pay or Android Pay were by users aged 16-34. If these early adopters continue to use the technology moving forward, this will impact significantly on the overall number of users, as currently only 3% of users are aged 65 or more. In ten to fifteen years, however, we can expect to see a much wider spread of age groups experienced in and used to using mobile payments.


Another game-changer could be Apple Pay's move to accept limitless payments. To date, most card readers that accept contactless payments (both mobile phone and card) have a maximum transaction limit of £30. However, the majority of tills in the UK that accept Apple Pay are now able to process payments greater than £30, and it is expected that this will have a dramatic impact on uptake rates, and will give the mobile payment system a distinct advantage over bank-issued contactless debit and credit cards.


Android Pay too is making inroads in this sector, and while uptake has been slower than expected since its introduction to the UK in 2016, the fact that 60% of the mobile phones in the UK use the Android operating system would suggest that there is much unrealised potential for growth. The launch of Samsung Pay, and the Barclays Bank mobile payment system (available through its own native mobile banking app) have further broadened the choice for consumers in this area as well.


Therefore, it would seem to be the case that while acceptance of mobile payment systems in the UK has been steady rather than explosive, a significant incremental increase in uptake is expected to continue. And whether people are aware of it or not, it will soon be the case that just about everyone in the UK will soon be carrying in their pocket or purse the mobile technology to pay for a coffee, buy the week's shopping, or book a holiday, without the need for a conventional plastic card at all.


Popular mobile payment methods


As well as direct mobile payment systems, there are many other ways in which mobile phones can be used to buy goods and services in the UK.

 

Pay by Mobile



Pay by Mobile is an increasingly popular way of making payments via a mobile phone. When you make a purchase using Pay by Mobile on a service like Boku or Fortumo, the amount you spend is added to your monthly mobile phone bill if you are on a post-paid plan, or deducted from your balance if you are on pay-as-you-go.


The Pay by Mobile payment method has proved very popular with the young, and payment solutions like Boku are frequently used in the leisure sector, with mobile casinos for instance offering a range of payment methods and Pay by Mobile options. Carrier billing payment methods are also a popular alternative for those without traditional banking arrangements, such as credit or debit cards, and are an especially convenient way of making in-app purchases or subscribing to streaming services. There are also specialist services like PayByPhone that enable you to pay for your parking across the UK with your mobile phone, or OboPay which enables you to make person-to-person payments that are charged to your mobile phone account.


Another reason for the popularity of Pay by Mobile payment systems like Boku is that the costs are charged to the merchant rather than the user, making it a cost-effective way of making digital and online purchases.


One of the most significant developments in carrier billing services in the last year has been a proposed partnership between Boku and ALTBalaji to stream original video content to customers globally. This will no doubt further increase the appeal of highly convenient Pay by Mobile payment systems.


E-wallets



E-wallets have long been one of the most popular online payment methods and they can be used for mobile payments as well. Skrill and Neteller are the two most prominent and widely accepted e-wallets, and can be used to make online purchases for a wide variety of goods and services via mobile. Many users appreciate the security that e-wallets give them, as they act as a third-party middle man between you and any retailer or service provider you deal with so that they don't have access to your bank account or credit card details.


There are fees attached to using e-wallets, usually when you make a deposit into your account. However, most retailers or leisure providers that you deal with won't charge you for making a purchase or adding funds to a casino account, for instance.


Recently, both Skrill and Neteller expanded into offering P2P payments. With Skrill, all you need is the recipient's email address or mobile number, while for Neteller money transfers only an email address is required.


P2P payment apps



Person to Person mobile payments (generally known as P2P apps) are a quick and straightforward way of transferring money from one person to another using a mobile phone, often without the need for bank accounts. P2P apps are designed for transferring small amounts of cash, rather than large money transfers.


P2P apps have proved to be an especially popular way for friends to repay small amounts of money, or to share the costs of purchases or services (e.g., splitting the bill at dinner, or for buying tickets to a show or match), and there are a growing number on the market. Each has its own different capabilities, with one of the most notable differences being that some will require both parties to have the app, while others let you send cash to, or request money from, anyone with a mobile phone. The cost of using these apps will vary as well.


One of the most popular P2P apps in the UK is Paym. You link the app directly to your mobile or online banking account, and so any money you send goes straight from your account as it would with any other purchase. All you require to send money to a friend is their mobile phone number (the Paym app will access your contacts for this) and the recipient will get a text saying they have been sent cash by you (provided their bank supports the Paym system).


One of the biggest developments in P2P apps is the news that Facebook has now launched Person to Person payments in the UK. Using the Messenger app, you can send cash either from your mobile or your laptop, and once you have linked a debit card to the account there are no fees applied. There is a maximum transfer amount of £2,500, although like most P2P apps, the majority of people use it to transfer small sums to friends. 


Contactless credit and debit cards


Currently, credit and debit cards remain the dominant form of contactless payment and are generally used more often than mobile payment methods. However, Barclays Bank has now launched its own mobile payment system which removes the need for a physical card and enables its customers to use their mobile phone to make purchases in the same way as they currently do with a tap-and-go card.


However, as discussed above, as Apple Pay and Android Pay make further inroads into the market, it is expected that other major high street banks will also launch their own mobile payment systems. And although no-one is expecting it to happen anytime soon, just as cash was overtaken in 2016 by contactless cards as the primary means of making physical purchases, it's not unreasonable to expect that plastic credit and debit cards will go the same way in the not-too-distant future.


The future of mobile payments



It's hard to imagine a future where mobile payments don't become the dominant means of making purchases both online and in physical stores, not only in the UK but globally. Mobile payments have become especially beneficial in underbanked regions of the world, most notably in Africa, and with the number of mobile phones users worldwide predicted to top 5 billion by 2019, the further uptake of mobile payment systems would seem inevitable.


As we carry more and more of our lives around in our mobile devices, it is logical to expect that we will further embrace technology that is integrated within these devices. Mobile payment systems reduce the need for physical cards, make transferring money quicker and easier, and enable us to access the growing number of digital and streaming services with greater ease. So even if your mobile phone isn't your wallet right now, you can almost certainly expect it to become so in the future.



Rumors have had it since last year that the next iPhone will come equipped with wireless charging capabilities, but it seems like Apple is going to take it a step further. Honestly, Apple has not exactly been a pioneer when it comes to features in their smartphones for quite a while now. That being said, they do put a new twist to every tech they implement and that is why Apple products usually stand out from the crowd.


One might wonder, what is so "cutting edge" about wireless charging? It's something that we have seen being implemented in plenty of Android smartphones in the past. Apparently, the answer to that question is distance. The new wireless charging technology will allegedly make it possible to charge your iPhone 7 from a significantly longer distance than it is possible now in any phone that supports wireless charging. If the reports are correct, development of this technology is ongoing as Apple continues to work on it in collaboration with their Asian associates.


Reports were neither very clear nor very specific because they do not tell us how this new tech would actually work as wireless/inductive charging as we know it, requires the phone to be placed on the charging pad. In fact, they even indicate that there is a possibility that the iPhone 7 may not have this piece of technology.


The good news is that we do have one established fact that supports the rumors. In 2012, an application for patenting something related to Near-Field Magnetic Resonance (NFMR) was submitted by Apple and it involves charging devices from about a meter away. If anything, we at least know that the technology is in development for quite a few years, which makes it all the more likely to be implemented in the upcoming iPhone 7.


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