By Anton D. Nagy | May 21, 2011 4:06 AM
If you have a smartphone (and you do since you are reading our website) you know how smart these devices are: they can run tons of applications, keep you in touch with friends and colleagues, help you find your way around by knowing where you are and where you’re heading. Well, your “smart” phone will become even smarter after some of these sensors will come out and manufacturers include them in your handsets — and of course when platforms and applications will offer proper support.
Benedetto Vigna, general manager of the MEMS division of STMicroelectronics, tells us what you can expect from your future smartphone. Current smartphones have lots of sensors included: motion sensor, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, digital compass… Well, your next smartphone could include an altimeter for collecting information about the elevation. This could be useful in maps and GPS application both when being out and while in the big city (allowing information related to elevation to be collected so that it knows for instance on which floor of the office building you’re currently at).
There could be heart monitors included so that your geniusphone can track your health alongside perspiration sensors for monitoring your health, excitement level and even mood. “Additionally, phones will include more microphones, and temperature and humidity sensors to better determine their location and surroundings”.
“Mr. Vigna said some technology companies were working on ways to increase security and privacy on mobile phones with sensors. One way to do this is to build software that detects how you hold and interact with the device almost like a motion fingerprint. After you use a new phone for a short period of time, it will start to learn your patterns and automatically lock or unlock the phone accordingly. This could be used for more secure banking too.”
Technology is evolving; at an insane rate! Just a couple of years ago we were impressed by smartphones automatically switching screen orientation depending on how you hold them and now we’re hearing about future phones that can monitor your health and mood. Where’s the line between feature and gimmick? Where’s the point where it suddenly becomes “too much”? How would you imagine your life with such a sensor packed geniusphone?