The password pill and the display-cover display are two of the stranger extreme features on the way for differentiating mature mobile devices.
Prototypes of extreme screens are now available. These bi-stable, reflective displays used in e-books merge with wireless technology to create a type of external or secondary smartphone screen. The idea is to allow the phone to send an image like a map to a secondary screen.
Being bi-stable a secondary screen can retain the image without power so the user can refer to it while driving without having to turn on the phone again. The idea lends itself well to tablet covers which scream out for a dual purpose such as a secondary display, an extra battery, a solar panel or an external flat speaker.
Several smartphone makers have clear strategies to take photography to extremes. One company already has a 40 megapixel camera on the market. Others are using detachable lenses that connect wirelessly to the phone and tablet.
Major smartphone and chipset makers are experimenting with multi-lens arrays to make computational light-field cameras. The technology captures complete depth of field information about a scene allowing the user to refocus after the fact to highlight different subjects, change the scale, change backgrounds, apply different filtering and do other edits without a PC.
On the display side, we may be moving into the overkill zone with extreme resolution. Screen makers have already demonstrated displays with twice the performance of 1080-progressive.
It's reasonable to ask why anyone would want a small screen with higher resolution than one’s eyes can practically discern. However, the point is that this technology is already out and once something exists it is a very short journey to copycat behavior.
Extreme security on mobile platforms -- the fingerprint sensor that appeared on the new iPhone 5S -- makes more sense especially as users store more financial and personal data on them. Wall Street seems to love companies investing in mobile security.
Tangible hardware-based security techniques can make users feel more trust in the system and bolster mobile commerce. Apple, Samsung, Huawei/Hisilicon, LG, Lenovo and others are increasingly designing their own mobile processors, devices likely to boast more cryptography and hardened features.
Among other extreme features expect more advanced voice processing; louder, bigger, and flatter speakers; and advanced DSP-based sound processing.
— Bill Boldt is a marketing executive, market researcher and consultant.