If you stop and think about it, using an iPhone – for a free video chat with someone on the other side of the world, say – feels like we’re living in the future. And yet the iPhone 5 is here now – but if the iPhone 5 feels futuristic, what will the iPhone be like in 2014, 2016, 2020 and even 2050? In the new issue, we investigate!
The important thing is that these developments aren’t just science fiction: it’s nearly all technology that’s being finalised, or is being actively researched and developed. Some of the time predictions might prove to be ambitious, or technologies might arrive quicker than anticipated, but it all has potential to be real. And though we’re only talking about the iPhone here and not the iPad – the technology used in them is very similar, so just about all of these developments will improve both devices.
Now, it’s true that we’re victims of the ‘faster horse’ syndrome here, just looking at the iPhone as it is now and extrapolating from there. It’s entirely possible, especially once we get to 2050, that Apple or another company will have introduced something as different to the iPhone as the iPhone is to a Motorola StarTAC, or something even more radical, but our crystal ball gets a bit cloudy when we ask those questions.
So here’s our vision of what the iPhone might look like in 2050, and of what amazing materials and technologies it could use.
We asked a handful of experts what they thought of our vision for the future, but you can have your say too; you can either comment below, tell us what you think on Twitter or Facebook, or even embed the image above in your own blog or website and start a discussion there. Just copy and paste the below into your site’s HTML view!
<a href="http://tapm.ag/futureiphone"><img src="http://www.tapmag.co.uk/files/tapmag/images/iphone24.jpg"></a>
To see what the iPhone could be like in 2014, 2016 and 2020, as well as much more information about the iPhone in 2050, get the new issue of Tap! – half price until 14 October 2012!
Here’s what our panel of future-gazing experts had to say about our iPhone 24:
Gareth Beavis, TechRadar
The iPhone 24 is an interesting concept, focussing on the ever-accelerating race to make things smaller, faster and cheaper… and let’s face it, that’s what consumers want.
The notion of a super-intelligent Siri, smaller components and nanotechnology could feasibly be here within a decade, though; will the iPhone 24 be outdated before it’s arrived? If so, I’m looking forward to the iPhone 24S – I hear that’s going to be amazing.
Sam Gibbs, Gizmodo UK
From instant medical readouts courtesy of the built-in Tricorder, to the body-heat charging that might finally allow your phone to last a day, what’s not to like about the iPhone 24?
Hell, maybe Siri will even be useable and understand proper English in the year 2050; just don’t hold your breath, OK?
Kieran Alger, T3
40 years is a long time in tech. If you showed the phones we have today to people from the 70s, they’d think you came from Mars.
Screen real estate, battery life and how we control our devices are going to be among the biggest challenges for the next few decades.
Will we even have a physical device? Embedded chips and ‘every surface a potential screen’ might mean even the advanced roll-out displays look tired by 2050.
Susie Ochs, Mac|Life
A learning Siri would be incredible. The more I use it, the more I bump up against its limitations, where it should be the other way ’round—getting more useful the more I use it.
Also, as someone who just lost a contact lens this morning, I look forward to one day losing a contact lens fitted with carbon nanotube antennae. I just don’t look forward to replacing it.
J Glenn Künzler, MacTrast
Nobody can know for sure what the iPhone might be decades from now. Will we still have Siri? What will become of iMessage? Will the new iPhone even be a phone, or could it become a watch, or an earpiece, or even a dental implant?
This phone looks like a fundamental game-changer – every bit as radical and revolutionary as the very first one that Steve Jobs proudly unveiled in 2007.
Bert Chiu, Fans Of Apple
First of all, hopefully they don’t call it iPhone 24. Just iPhone... after all, who’ll be counting at that point?
All joking aside, the technology is intriguing: the transparent screen, the eternal power source, the monitoring system – the capability to detect illness before it struck would be the ultimate feature! And of course, what iPhone would be complete without ‘Super Siri’?
Even if half of these concepts become reality, Steve Jobs’ legacy will be further honoured by the development of his original creation.