The world of smartphones progresses and expands so rapidly that it’s sometimes difficult to stop and take note of specific innovations. For example, the fingerprint ID scanner implemented on the iPhone 5s made headlines last fall, but is already becoming a footnote as people start to speculate on what we’ll see in the iPhone 6, possibly later this year.
So instead of looking back at recent innovations that will soon become commonplace, in this post we’ll look forward to some monumental innovations and developments we may be seeing in the smartphone and mobile app market this year.
Fast Company is featuring an interesting report that there are rumors of an Amazon 3D smartphone. The idea of an Amazon smartphone is nothing new (and if any company seems capable of breaking into the tightly packed market, Amazon could be it), but the 3D element of the rumor is somewhat surprising. 3D televisions have been largely unsuccessful, so the idea of putting this tech into a phone seems bold. Nevertheless, this would be a fascinating development; any success that the phone has would undoubtedly be followed by Apple and Samsung.
By now Samsung’s “AirGesture” concept is old news, but it’s essentially just that: a concept that’s hardly developed to the point of routine use. The idea of controlling a phone’s functions through hand gestures, rather than direct touch, has been very intriguing to major developers for some time now, and the news that Apple has purchased PrimeSense (the company behind Microsoft’s Kinect) supports more innovation in this field.
In many parts of the world mobile gambling is legal, and this leads to the massive popularity of online gaming sites’ accompanying app. The BetFair Casino is one such site with a dynamic gambling app available in the app stores, but it’s closed to a huge portion of the market (namely, the U.S.) because of regulations. However, those behind the mobile gaming industry are constantly making strides toward spreading regulation, and the time will come—possibly in 2014—when at least some mobile gaming is allowed in more of the U.S. While this isn’t a tech innovation specifically, it would launch an enormous new branch of the app market across all mobile devices.
Improved App Privacy
The aforementioned fingerprint scanner was one step toward increased mobile privacy, but The Guardian makes an interesting prediction that we’ll also see more privacy on the part of app developers in 2014. Indeed, constant concerns over the privacy of social networking apps, as well as the infamous hacking of Snapchat, have emphasized the need for a bit more focus on privacy and security, and improvement in this area would be a welcome innovation in 2014.
These are just a few possibilities for 2014, but the hope is really that the smartphone market will surprise us! Apple and Samsung are at their best when they’re throwing curveballs, so hopefully we’ll see the above-mentioned innovations and much more this year.