If you have been keeping track of smartphone technology over the last few years, you might have realized that screen sizes have been getting bigger. The new iPhone 5 has a longer screen and the Samsung Galaxy III is even bigger. Tablets on the other hand, have been getting smaller. So what’s going on and where is it going?
It seems to me that people want to have full functionality on their devices and they want them to be anywhere they are. Still, I don’t think people want to take two devices everywhere they go. The big difference between the iPhone and the iPad though is the screen size. Internally, they are very similar and run the same OS so why don’t we just have one device but have multiple display choices? I think this is where things are going and there are several trends in technology that point to that future.
The first technology I have been watching is flexible screens.
With a screen like this, you can just fold it up or roll it up. You can then connect it to your phone. Add some touch screen technology and you have a winner. Alternatively if they can cheaply mass produce this, you could get wallpaper like displays. Imagine a classroom with each wall completely covered with a large display. Now that is immersion!
The second technology is the continuing miniaturization of computer technology due to Moore’s Law (see Why Bring Your Own Device To School Is Inevitable). I just read about the latest version of the Raspberry Pi mini computer. This tiny computer costs $35 and is rapidly getting more powerful. As computers get more powerful they also get smaller. Once you can decouple them from the screens they can get really tiny. You might just have a computer woven into your shirt and have it wirelessly connect to any adjacent display and input devices. At that point, the world itself becomes your computer.