Chapter 13: The Next-Generation Mobile User Experience
The current mobile-handset market is a vital and growing one, being driven by technology advances, including increased bandwidth and processing performance, as well as reduced power consumption and improved screen technologies. The 3G/4G handsets of today are multimedia internet devices with increased screen size, HD video and gaming, interactive touch screens, HD camera and camcorders, as well as incredible social, entertainment, and productivity applications. While mobile-technology advancements to date have made us more social in many ways, new advancements over the next decade will bring us to the next level, allowing mobile users to experience new types of “virtual” social interactions with all the senses. The mobile handsets of the future will be smart autonomous-lifestyle devices with a multitude of incorporated sensors, applications and display options, all designed to make your life easier and more productive! With future display media, including 3D imaging, virtual interaction and conferencing will be possible, making every call feel like you are in the same room, providing an experience far beyond today’s video conferencing technology. 3D touch-screen with integrated image-projection technologies will work in conjunction with gesturing to bring a new era of intuitive mobile device applications, interaction, and information sharing. Looking to the future, there are many challenges to be faced in delivering a smart mobile companion device that will meet the user demands. One demand will be for the availability of new and compelling services, and features on the “mobile companion”. These mobile companions will be more than just Internet devices,and will function as on-the-go workstations, allowing users to function as if they were sitting in front of their computer in the office or at home. The massive amounts of data that will be transmitted through, to and from these mobile companions will require immense improvements in system performance, including specialized circuits, highly parallel architectures, and new packaging design. Another concern of the smart-mobile-companion user will be that their device is able to deliver an always-on, always-aware environment in a way that is completely seamless and transparent. These handsets will automatically determine the best and most appropriate modem link from the multiple choices on the device, including WiFi, LTE, 5G, and mmWave, based on which link will optimize performance, battery life, and network charges to deliver the best possible user experience. In the future, adaptive connectivity will require many different solutions, including the standard modem technologies of today, as well as new machine-machine interfaces and body-area-networks. All of the new and exciting applications and features of these mobile-companion devices are going to require additional energy due to added computational requirements. However, a gap in energy efficiency is quickly developing between the energy that can be delivered by today’s battery technologies, and the energy needed to deliver all-day operation or 2-day always-on standby without a recharge. New innovations ranging from low-voltage digital and analog circuits, non-volatilememory, and adaptive power management, to energy harvesting, will be needed to further improve the battery life of these mobile companion devices. Increased bandwidth combined with decreased latency, higher power efficiency, energy harvesting, massive multimedia processing, and new interconnect technologies will all work together to revolutionize how we interact with our smart-companion devices. The implementation challenges in bringing these technologies to market may seem daunting and numerous at first, but with the strong collaboration in research and development from universities, government agencies, and corporations, the smart-mobile-companion devices of the future will likely become reality within 5 years!