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University of Montreal and the Ludmer Center for Neuro Informatics NeuroscienceTechnology is constantly evolving in all areas. Year after year, we see innovative products like these five high-tech inventions that can change our life for the better. There is one area, in turn, where we don’t see meaningful improvement, though, where even the manufacturers themselves see that there is a sore need for a change of paradigm: smartphones. Aside from a handful of foldable devices, all other smartphones have the same slab design, the same set of features, often even the same hardware hidden under their slim and stylish exteriors. There are, in turn, quite a few technologies that, if invented, could truly change the way we interact with the technology in our pockets, like the ones below.

Subvocal recognition

Making a phone call today is just as private as the area you’re making it in – those around you will inevitably hear your side of the conversation. Even if you are not talking about anything private, this can feel uncomfortable. Our body has a function for “silent” speech, though – it is called subvocalization, and research is being done on recognizing and transforming it into digital signals.

Perhaps if a major telecommunications company could spend more time (and money) on developing subvocal sensors that are easy to attach and use, anyone could make phone calls without worrying about them being overheard – perhaps even write text messages, control a computer, and communicate through “synthetic telepathy” through the airwaves.

Augmented Reality contact lenses

With augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality has applications in many industries ranging from architecture and retail to military training and general education. The glasses needed to immerse yourself into a world consisting of the real one and a digital one still are, in turn, a bit too bulky for them to be comfortably worn and used in public. Soon enough, though, these glasses will be replaced by smart contact lenses putting a layer of the digital world between your eyes and the universe – and that will be the time when smartphones will be ready to shed their screens.

Imagine this: instead of constantly having to reach for your phone, you’ll be able to check your notifications with a glance. When taking pictures, you’ll see the image to be snapped in full quality instead of looking at them on a smartphone screen. When playing games, you could immerse yourself completely in the action – and perhaps games would be able to use the environment around you to generate new levels and obstacles for you to overcome. The possibilities are endless.

And perhaps more importantly, smartphones could finally give up on their most power-hungry component – the screen – offering superior autonomy to their already powerful batteries.

What other innovations you think could change the world of smartphones for the better?