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Smartphones in 2017 and Beyond

Posted January 04, 2017 12:30 PM by MaggieMc

As we move into the new year, it’s ‘out with the old, in with the new.’ In this case, “the new” are the latest and greatest smartphones. Here’s a little bit of what you can expect from smartphones in 2017, and beyond.

In 2017…

1. An All-glass iPhone.

At least one of the iPhones released in 2017 is reported to have an all-glass body. According to Robert Scoble, “[t]he next iPhone will be, I am told, a clear piece of glass (er, Gorilla Glass sandwich with other polycarbonates for being pretty shatter resistant if dropped) with a next-generation OLED screen.” Others are more skeptical about this description, but if true, this change would do away with the physical home button (a reoccurring theme, wait for it), as well as integrate the touch scanner into the screen. LG is also planning on adopting a glass front and rear, but only the releases will tell how it compares to the new shard-of-glass iPhone.

2. I Repeat, No More Home Buttons.

Samsung is also rumored to be ditching the home button. Evidently, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus will no longer have a home button, and the fingerprint scanner will be integrated into the screen.

3. No More Headphone Jacks Either.

Copycatting again, Samsung is rumored to be removing the headphone jack from its Galaxy phones. Instead, Samsung is “expected to [favor] USB-C for digital audio.” Perhaps this change is due to the fact that headphone producers seemed on-board when Apple removed the headphone jack in the iPhone 7, even if consumers weren’t. Either way, it looks like the headphone jack is on the outs.

4. Introducing Iris Scanning.

In 2017, it looks like the newest iPhone products will have biometric features like facial recognition and iris scanning. Producers hope iris scanning will bring a new kind of user interface. The real news in iris scanners is that LG will also feature a scanner integrated into the front camera. This innovation, made possible by a filter on the camera, would bring down build costs and the amount of space required. Unfortunately for LG fans, its use in the upcoming LG G6 hasn’t been confirmed, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. (Yes, corny pun intended.)

5. Bendable Phones?

While flexible display technologies are technically already in use, they account for only a small portion of display unit shipments. That’s going to change in 2017 as shipments increase by 135%. Apple is rumored to be releasing an iPhone with flexible AMOLED display in 2017, but according to Jerry Kang, principal analyst of display research for IHS Markit, it is unlikely we’ll see the truly flexible phones just yet. He predicts, “consumer device manufacturers will eventually move from the conventionally designed flat and rectangular form factors to the latest curved, foldable, or rollable screens, but only once their product roadmap for newer innovative devices becomes more mature.”

…and Beyond

6. Movement-powered Devices.

Recently, researchers at Michigan State University developed a way to power smartphones with human energy. The technology creates energy by “compressing the device through mechanical energy or human motion.” At this stage, researchers used a palm-size version of their device (a biocompatible ferroelectric nanogenerator) “to successfully operate an LCD touchscreen, a bank of 20 light emitting diode (LED) lights, and a flexible keyboard.” As this technology is advanced further, it’s possible we could see motion-powered smartphones on the market.

7. Holographic Projections.

Now that 3D has been integrated into select smartphones, people are buzzing about the possibility for hologram-capable phones. This capability would go beyond placing a plastic pyramid on your phone screen to recreate a hologram. Instead, it would be fully integrated. In 2011, MasterImage 3D reported they were “prepping a system that allows a hologram to be projected from smartphones” and interacted with by the user. Unless I’m missing that particular innovation, not much but talk has occurred since then, but I for one expect someone will roll this function out sooner or later.

Image & GIF credits to Geek Says, CNET, and Popular Mechanics.


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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6071
Good Answers: 625

Re: Smartphones in 2017 and Beyond

01/05/2017 9:20 AM

I think the 3D trick, #7, is kind of interesting. I might have to try it.


Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6071
Good Answers: 625
In reply to #1

Re: Smartphones in 2017 and Beyond

01/06/2017 9:35 PM

I'm curious to try this #7. The app is free. If you want to try it and don't feel like drawing the pattern, here is some Matlab code (or Octave) to draw the pattern:

close all;




x2=[3, 0.5];


x3=[0.5, -0.5];

y3=[3.5, 3.5];

x4=[-0.5, -3];




hold on;




grid on;

axis equal;

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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Brecksville, OH
Posts: 1571
Good Answers: 18

Re: Smartphones in 2017 and Beyond

01/05/2017 10:30 AM

Item#4: I suspect that Iris scanning should act as another deterrence to unauthorized use of a phone by improving security.

"Consensus Science got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" : Rephrase of Will Rogers Comment
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