The future of phones: Bluetooth 3 and mini-projectors
By Barry Collins
Posted on 29 Jan 2009 at 10:18
Bluetooth 3, pico projectors and high-speed data connections are just three of the technologies set to make a big impact on mobile phones, according to research firm Gartner.
The market watcher has identified eight key technologies to watch over the next year or so, with Bluetooth 3 at the top of the list.
The Bluetooth 3 specification is set to be released later this year, with the technology arriving in handsets in 2010. Gartner says this will "likely include features such as an ultra-low-power mode that will enable new devices, such as peripherals and sensors, and new applications, such as health monitoring."
The company also expects to see a flurry of new display technologies in mobile handsets, including active pixel displays, passive displays (such as the eInk displays found in eBook readers) and pico-projectors.
"Pico projectors enable new mobile use cases - for example, instant presentations projected on a desktop to display information in a brief, face-to-face sales meeting," the research firm claims.
Gartner also emphasises the importance of high-speed data connections in handsets, with both 802.11n Wi-Fi and 3G broadband highlighted on the list of technologies to watch.
The ever-improving performance of 3G could even pose a threat to Wi-Fi hotspots, Gartner claims. "The performance of high-speed packet access (HSPA) provides a megabit or two of bandwidth in uplink and downlink directions, and often more," it says.
"In many regions, HSPA provides adequate connectivity to replace Wi-Fi hotspots, and the availability of mature chipsets enables organisations to purchase laptops with built-in cellular modules that provide superior performance to add-on cards or dongles."
Following the riotous success of the iPhone, Gartner says more mobile manufacturers will be forced to pay attention to the user interface on their device. "Better interfaces will make the mobile web more accessible on small devices, and will be a better channel to customers and employees," it says.
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