There are three technologies coming to market which could change smartphones forever, and all of them aren’t coming from the major smartphone vendors but some from big and small companies—some of which we don’t often connect with core smartphone technology. Two of the three technologies are coming to market in different forms next year, and the phone that captures them all could well be on its way to being the next iPhone. Let’s look at each in turn.
Huawei’s Super Battery
Even Tesla should stand up and take notice of this one. Huawei announced a new Lithium Ion battery that could be charged to half capacity in 5 minutes. A smaller version of the battery got to 60% charge in 2 minutes. This parallels another effort out of Vanderbilt University showcasing similar capability. With a 20-hour battery, that means in 5 minutes you’d have a day and getting 5 minutes on a plug even if you are running between planes shouldn’t be that hard. Now imagine this applied to a Tesla car, suddenly your stops for charging could take no longer than it typically takes to fill up your car. Granted the power delivery system would be impressive because you’d have to move a massive amount of current very quickly which would likely dictate huge capacitors on the pump side and some impressive safety gear because that kind of current running through your body would likely spoil the rest of your life.
Still pretty cool. Kind of like having the God of Thunder at your beck and call.
Si-Ware Wireless Charging
Unlike inductive which requires contact or resonance which requires the phone be inches from the charger Si-Ware’s technology has a range of a whopping 30 feet. While it’s low output keeps it from doing a good job on your laptop (it could charge it at night and increase the battery duration while you are using it) it will do wonderful things for smartphones and tablets, both of which fall below Si-Ware’s 10 watt current maximum. Chargers and devices are both out in trial runs next year meaning for a few lucky folks you’ll be able to put a charger in your office, bedroom, and/or car and charge your mobile device just by stepping into the vehicle or room. You can imagine a future where virtually every place you went had power wirelessly piped to your phone or device. With Microsoft showcasing Continuum can provide PC-like functionality on a smartphone you’d never have to worry about a dead battery unless you went on a hike out in the wilderness without your car. This is the original Tesla level cool.
The big push to MU-MIMO starts next year when the phones that use it start shipping in huge volume (routers have been out for months and some phones will start arriving this month). Qualcomm is making a huge push on this technology next year. I’ve been doing a lengthy test of this technology and performance isn’t far off from what you typically get on a loaded Gigabit Wired network. This is because MU-MIMO works more like a wired network works with dedicated data streams to each device wither than the more typical sharing of a single data stream by multiple devices. The end result is a 2x or more improvement in wireless performance over the fastest you see today and suddenly the ability to stream even an entire Windows desktop in high resolution to a lot of phones at the same time becomes far more real. Coupled with the wireless power above you end up with a phone that is nearly never at risk of running out of either power or bandwidth and an experience you can’t imagine today.
Wrapping Up: Tip of the Iceberg
That’s not all that is coming to market we have vastly improved security and a far better defense against malware. We have better sound, much improved cameras, more powerful CPUs and GPUs, and huge improvements to WAN wireless technology. And let’s not forget truly disruptive technologies like Microsoft’s Hololens which could make smartphones, tablets, and PCs as we know them obsolete.
We have a massive wave of change coming and your smartphone is not just about to become obsolete it is about to become archaic.