The next 6 months of this year in terms of technology development will be no less interesting than the previous ones. Next, let's summarize and recall what trends in mobile electronics are heard by everyone this year.
Fingerprint sensors under the screen
Rumors about the massive appearance of a new type of scanners have been circulating on the Internet for the second year already. For the first time, a working concept was shown by a Chinese company Vivo this January at CES 2018. It was possible to bring this idea to life thanks to certain properties AMOLED – displays – in LCD – a matrix such a sensor cannot be built in due to the presence of backlighting. It is worth noting that, despite its novelty, the fingerprint sensor is as fast and reliable as a regular one. The first to receive this feature was the Vivo X20 Plus device.
Neural networks in smartphones
The advance of artificial intelligence cannot be stopped, and all the major mobile manufacturers understand this. This trend was outlined at the end of last year, when Apple presented its own neuroprocessor (NPU) A11 Bionic. The next one was Huawei with the Kirin 970 chip. As a result, we have 5 models with AI inside: the current generation iPhone (8, 8 Plus, X) and Huawei Mate 10/10 Pro. Although both processors are based on neural networks, they are used in different ways: in the A11, new technologies are responsible for unlocking using Face ID, and in the Kirin 970 they help to improve the quality of shooting and improve the sound quality during voice calls. However, the joys of machine learning are available not only to buyers of flagship devices – for example, in the Google Camera application, artificial intelligence improves photos well, and it is in photography that the greatest potential of the NPU lies. The time is coming when manufacturers will not brag about the power of hardware in their smartphones, but processors that can unleash the capabilities of this hardware.
High speed video recording
Sony set the trend, and Samsung picked it up by adding a 960 fps shooting mode to its new flagships. If earlier 240 frames per second seemed to be the ultimate dream, today this figure has quadrupled, allowing ordinary people to shoot beautiful (albeit very short) slow-motion videos.
5G is close
Since the beginning of 2018, a huge number of large manufacturers of mobile equipment, telecommunications equipment and even cars have presented their developments aimed at developing a new standard for high-speed information transfer. Due to such an intense interest in this technology, experts predict the start of the deployment of 5G – networks in 2019.
Therefore, although 2018 did not become the year of birth 5G, it certainly became a defining step towards the fastest wireless data transmission in history.
The expansion of voice assistants
For several years now, Russian users had to limit themselves only to Siri – there was simply no other more or less “live” assistant with Russian language support. But 2018 in Russia and around the world is under the sign of voice assistants. In May, at Google I / O, we were shown the impressive capabilities of the updated Google Assistant application: now the AI can independently call and sign the user to the hairdresser and order food.
Using a smartphone camera, Assistant can identify the name of a place – for example, a cafe or restaurant – from advertisements and signs, automatically displaying ratings, reviews, opening hours and other information about a particular place. In addition, Dobra Corporation promised to localize its service for the Russian market, and this will happen in the coming months.
Domestic companies are also not sitting idle – the conference 'Yandex', Yet another Conference, during which the voice assistant 'Alisa' was presented, died down. This project not only has outstanding abilities that are not inferior to the development from Google (calling a taxi, ordering food, controlling a smart home, and so on), but also received its own smart speaker, which is in no way inferior to Western counterparts (perhaps design).
We all understand that voice assistants are needed mostly for data collection. Just look at the list of companies that have their own voice assistants, and everything becomes clear: Amazon, 'Yandex', Google, Apple – they all used and will use AI to promote their services. But at the same time, it cannot be denied that their voice assistants make our life much more convenient. I did not specifically mention Alexa, Siri and Bixby, since in our country they are either completely useless or almost useless.
Displays 18: 9
And this collection is completed by not the most important, but really sensational change in mobile devices, which in 6 months of 2018 covered not only the high-end segment, but also fairly inexpensive devices of the middle price category. The new format made it possible to fit more information on the same usable screen area, which came in handy at a time when the diagonals had nowhere else to grow.
Yes, this year has seen an influx of 'bangs' from manufacturers of all stripes and a sudden resurgence of gaming smartphones. However, with a 90% probability, all these phenomena will turn out to be a dummy, and will disappear as quickly as they appeared. I have collected only those technologies that are really important for the industry and will be buzzing for more than one year.