[World Trend of Scientific and Technological Innovation](308)

  ◎Our reporter Liu Xia

  The global technology community is using various artificial intelligence (AI) drawing tools to imagine what future mobile phones will look like.

  The British website Mobiles.co.uk recently reported that from soft “bodies” to self-repairing screens, from solar charging to the use of more advanced materials, some ideas about future mobile phones sound more like something from a science fiction movie. But the realization of these technologies is just around the corner, and smartphones will undergo huge changes in the next few years, which may subvert people's imagination.

The "body" is softer

  Companies such as Motorola, Samsung and Huawei have all launched folding phones, but this folding function is currently limited to the screen part of the phone.

  AI tools predict that one day in the future, the entire mobile phone will become very soft. With the advent of flexible organic light-emitting diodes, flexible technology is being widely used, and some manufacturers are conducting in-depth research on this.

  At the end of October 2023, Motorola launched a smart flexible screen mobile phone that can be worn on the wrist. The device is billed as the world's first wearable smartphone. It has a 6.9-inch full HD mobile phone screen that can be bent into various shapes.

  The latest list published by the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office shows that Apple has obtained a new patent for folding screen self-healing technology, which can solve the crease problem faced by folding mobile phones. It is reported that in order to improve the aesthetics of electronic devices and reduce the presence of scratches and dents, Apple will introduce a layer of self-healing material into the screen cover of mobile phones. The self-healing process can be achieved actively, or it can be initiated and accelerated by external stimulation. This technology promises to make foldable phones more durable.

Solar powered

  Not only will people use their phones differently in the future, but they will also power their phones differently than they do today, such as using solar energy to power their phones. As a renewable energy source, solar energy is almost unlimited, and many innovative technologies and equipment have emerged in this field.

  In 2016, the Japanese company Kyocera announced the development of a mobile phone that uses sunlight to charge. The working principle of this device is to install a layer of photovoltaic modules on the screen of a mobile phone. When exposed to the sun for 3 minutes, the phone can be used for 1 minute of conversation. However, since most people tend to carry their phones in their pockets, this design didn't catch on.

  If batteries and solar panels can be quickly recharged by sunlight, using solar energy to charge mobile phones may become popular.


  Everyone may have experienced the helplessness and pain of having spiderweb-like cracks all over the screen after a phone was dropped.

  Experts say that future mobile phones may have self-healing capabilities, and self-repair will eliminate the need for people to buy replacement parts or even replace their phones.

  Last year, scientists at Stanford University developed a synthetic skin that can be refused using heat and magnets. The artificial skin is made from silicone and polypropylene glycol materials that stretch like human skin without tearing, while magnets allow the skin to self-align. This new multi-layer thin film sensor automatically rearranges itself during the healing process. Using this technology, scientists may be able to create mobile phones with self-healing capabilities in the future.

More sustainable design

  Using sustainable materials and resources to manufacture mobile phones is also one of the future development trends.

  Even if people can't make phones out of mushroom skin or other natural materials just yet, there are other ways to make them more sustainable. A 2019 study found that extending the life of smartphones by just one year could save the carbon emissions of 2 million cars per year. One simple way to achieve this is to make phones easier to repair.

  While Apple and other big manufacturers have long been criticized for making repairs difficult, other innovators are advancing designs that make repairs easier. For example, modularly designed mobile phones such as Fairphone can be quickly disassembled and replaced with accessories, which not only greatly reduces maintenance costs, but also reduces waste and extends the service life of mobile phones.

  Experts stress that with better materials and designs, future phones could be more environmentally friendly.

Improved grip

  While this may not be the most exciting innovation in the mobile phone industry, it solves one of the annoying problems with modern cell phones.

  Experts say future phones should be less likely to drop. With the help of AI, experts envision that phones may one day have a "unique snake-like screen" for better grip and durability.

  The logic of the change is simple: If the phone isn't as sleek, it probably won't be dropped, broken, and discarded as easily. Not only is this good for the environment, but it’s also a big help for people with disabilities. (Science and Technology Daily)