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“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.” -Douglas Adams

Today, it seems technology is traveling faster than the speed of light right even though the news surrounding it is usually good. But when you look back, you realize where the developers today take inspiration from.

It all started with robotic technologies like handheld devices to control doorways, optical glasses to see outside the spaceship, digital wrist watches that could speak and other devices used in sci-fi movies and TV shows of the past. Nobody would’ve thought of these futuristic technologies as implementable items 20 or 30 years down the line – but they’re here.

Douglas Adams said, “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.” Well, technology is traveling faster than the speed of light right now or so to say, however the news around it is all good. Especially for developers who can keep their horizons broad to equip these technologies in their development plans.

For developers who can keep an open mind with broad horizons, making the next seemingly impossible piece of futuristic technology might be just around the corner. Here’s some examples:

Mobile Device Touchscreens: Changing Textures

Scientists discovered years ago that friction is the predominant force allowing you to feel different textures. Disney is using this information to make a Texture Touchscreen. It is a flat touchscreen that lets you feel shapes and textures of pictured objects. As the Washington Post puts it, this technology is called ‘tactile rendering of 3D features’ and it very smartly tricks your fingers in the Texture Touchscreen device.

This amazing technology opens avenues for so many apps, especially in gaming. Imagine feeling hills, valleys, plains, and water bodies while accessing maps and other terrain based mobile games. In a war based game, you’d feel the war ground and in a platformer, you’d feel the path you are climbing. This invention could also revolutionize the retail mobile shopping experience by allowing buyers to feel the fabrics, product material, commodity base, etc.

Microfluid Technology

Microfluid Technology

Texture touchscreen will also have a major impact on blind and disabled users’ mobile experience. They will have a more realistic experience with apps and so much more could be developed for disabled users in educational sectors.

Another tactile touchscreen technology that grabbed a lot of attention at TechCrunch Disrupt this year was Tactus Technologies, with an invention that was not thought of yet. Their technology, TacTile is a path breaking innovation using microfluid technology to give a ‘button-like’ experience on a touchscreen mobile device.

It is a fantastic functionality making buttons raise out and melt back into the screen of a mobile device almost instantly.

TacTile has the potential to become a standard in all tablets in the near future, opening routes to develop interesting apps for writers and even games, where wordplay is required.

Head Mounted Devices – Seeing an Internet-Enhanced, Hands Free World

Google Glass, an addition to head mounted devices

Google Glass

Google Glass deserves more than a mention when discussing cutting edge technologies. Google Glass is probably one of those class apart inventions the world saw in sci-fi movies, depicting a world run by robots.

Wearables are touted as a path-breaking concept utilizing futuristic technology. They allow communication via the internet using natural voice commands to

  • send messages
  • record videos
  • take photos
  • get directions
  • get faster search results
  • receive notifications and more

Google Glass will officially launch for consumers in 2014, and will soon be compatible with prescription lenses.

Sony HMZ - T3W, a head mounted device to entertain you

Sony HMZ – T3W

On the other hand, Sony’s HMZ – T3W is a more user-interactive head mounted device suitable for entertainment. HMZ – T3W gives you the experience of sitting 65 feet away from a 750 inch screen. The portable wearable is battery operated and connects with smart phones and tablets. The good looking wearable is a very good device for travelers offering a virtual 7.1 sound experience, has 2D and 3D visuals, and comes with cushioned head pads for maximum comfort.

Sony’s HMZ – T3W has connectivity with smartphones, meaning more audio visual content consumption and interesting gameplay techniques.

3D Photography – Make your Smartphone Multi-Utility

3D Photography with True-View

3D Photography

True-View took everyone by surprise by introducing a portable photography device to shoot and view 3D photos and videos. Once you’ve installed the True-View app, you switch it on when you are ready to shoot, insert your smartphone into the device’s slot which functionally splits the frames inside the device into two side by side images, and a series of mirrors placed inside the True-View device reflect, eventually merging the images into a single 3D image. The technology used is called ‘stereoscopic 3D imaging’.

True-View is an application inspired from the old school Fisher Price View Master. London based start up, The Pratley Company has designed True-View for photographers to take their passion to the next level. It is a collector’s item, focussing on vintage appeal and retro look.

What To Do Next?

This is a great period for developers and conceptualizers to integrate these technologies with mobile app solutions. Technologies like True-View, Google Glass, TacTile open up hundreds of avenues for developers to make users’ experience on various mobile devices better and optimal.

Have you already designed a new technology integration strategy for your mobile apps? Let us know in comments.


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