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November 18, 2011

Mobile technology: future innovation

Welcome to the innovation station, the next stop on the tech train is future mobile innovation. Jump on board for an interesting look at some of the compelling developments that could be scheduled for the not so distant future.

Today we will be focusing on the future of mobile phone batteries, checking out a touch-tastic Nokia mobile concept and examining a neat mobile projection concept called Omnitouch.

Nokia GEM

We love a concept phone here at Nokia Connects. Recently the Nokia Research Center celebrated its 25th anniversary by releasing a concept phone with an entire touch screen body.  There are no buttons, you simply have to signal gestures using your fingers or drag and drop apps from the side of the phone onto the screen. Our favourite feature includes a content sharing option that allows you to simply pour apps, photos or documents into your friends phone. A bizarre look at the future, but believable all the same.

Battery Power x 10

Ah, the age old battery debate, when will our handsets remain alive and well for longer than a week without charge? We know most Nokia handsets just go on and on without charge but we are talking about well over a week, a month or even a year of full battery life. Don’t we all look forward to the day when we can make the phone charger an obsolete item of a ‘retro’ past:

Somewhere in the year 2025…..

Michael: Rob do you remember the days of the phone charger? When we used to actually PLUG our phones into a wall?

Robert: Yep those days were crazy. You won’t believe this. My daughter has started making bespoke jewellery with all our old wires. She said it is environmentally friendly to re-use them and fashionable to wear at her school!?  

We are all hoping the year 2025 is an unrealistic estimation for the death of the phone charger and that it will come a lot sooner. Research from the Northwestern University at least takes us a step in the right direction. They are close to developing a battery that charges in minutes and not hours, with a capacity 10 times that of a present day mobile phone battery.

Here’s the science bit: They have replaced traditional carbon with silicon inside the battery. Silicon works 24 times more efficiently with lithium ions, as long as the silicon sits within two sheets of graphene. The end result means the lithium ions travel faster in the battery and the density of the lithium ions is greater = longer lasting batteries and faster re-charge times. BUT, they are not expecting the advanced batteries to hit our shelves for another three to five years (*annoyed face*).

Another more futuristic battery development is nuclear fusion on a microscopic scale. With nuclear fusion you will never need to charge your phone because it is effectively a mini nuclear power plant! Scary. If that sounds a little too dangerous, then why not have a look at the carbohydrate concept battery, you can literally run your phone on Cola!


‘Your hand is a smartphone and the wall is your new computer screen’.

Microsoft has developed a pretty awesome concept product called Omnitouch. It is defined as a wearable system that enables graphical, interactive, multi-touch finger input on everyday surfaces. With Omnitouch you can use your hand for making calls, turn your desk into a full QWERTY keyboard or even play your friend at interactive tic-tac-toe on a wall whilst waiting for the bus. The idea of wearing a small projector on your shoulder isn’t exactly a fashion statement, but we are pretty sure a condensed, more portable version will be developed in the future.

We love to see innovative mobile technology. If you can carry it and it looks like something you’ve never seen before – we want to hear about it at Nokia Connects