Ever wondered what the place where you are standing looked like 200 years ago? Ever wonder what a far away object looks like up-close?
In just a couple of years our smartphones may be able to answer these questions for us. Technologists are developing "augmented reality" applications that can take visual information from the web and infer what our surroundings looked like in the past or give us more detailed views of distant objects.
Experts say smartphones of the near future may physically resemble the smartphones of today, but their capabilities will better resemble our computers. Designers and technologists predict that many phones will have foldable screens similar to e-readers of today. Researchers are even experimenting with virtual keyboards, which will allow users to type over an imaginary keyboard while sensors pick up the keystrokes.
A recent article in the New York Times details the exciting developments in smartphone technology.
Today’s smartphones can do almost anything a PC could do in 2007, but in a couple of years smartphones may have enough computing power to enable much more sophisticated applications that truly take advantage of the device’s portability.
This is good news for smartphone users. If you love your phone, but prefer your laptop keyboard and all its capabilities, it may not be too long before you’ve got the best of both worlds in one portable device.