What will the smartphones of 2040 be like? Here's our wild guess

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
What will the smartphones of 2040 be like? Here's our wild guess
Imagine going back in time to when computers first started showing up in households with their green-only screens and huge floppy disks that could fit a whooping 360KB of data. As far as the past goes, this isn't really a long trip. Now imagine meeting a top computer engineer from that time, pulling out your 2018 smartphone and citing some of its specs while playing a game on it.

How mind blowing would that be for the person? The technology we carry around in our pockets today is something governments would literally kill for back then. We've all heard how NASA sent men to the moon with less computing power than an average smartphone has today.

Now imagine someone comes up to you and shows you a smartphone from the year 2040. What will it look like and what would be in it? No one knows for sure, but here's what our imagination tells us:

Appearance


So far into the future the phone has lost not only its headphone jack, but its charging port, power and volume buttons. That much isn't hard to predict. What we think we'll see, however, is phones that have always-on displays on every surface. Imagine a phone that, when it's locked, looks like a solid block of marble, or aluminum, or gold. You pick it up and the front reveals your home screen. You want fancy a different color today? Go to the visuals menu and pick a different one and the whole phone changes appearance. Maybe you prefer a pattern that matches your clothing, why not an animated skin that mimics clouds moving during a storm or even fire? For the technology of 2040, that's nothing more than having a clock showing on your screen all the time today. No need to worry about scratches or breaking it, Silverback Glass 15 makes your smartphone practically indestructible.

 
Notches can only be seen in the Museum of Mobile Technology, every camera, sensor or speaker is either under the display or part of it. Making a video call? You can look the other person straight in the eyes, because the camera is somewhere behind them.

But wait, how would you open such device? Unless you want to use a diamond saw on it, you won't. You send it back to the manufacturer and they use special equipment to melt away the shell, so the internals can be recycled. Repairing, in 2040? Ha-ha, good one!

Cameras


It won't be too much to say that by that time the camera on your phone will be better than your own eyes. Ultra-slow-motion recording at 16K? Check! 20x optical zoom? Check. Infrared video and photo capabilities? Check. Thermal camera too? Yep! Ultrasound camera so we can pretend we're bats? Um... No.


Security features


The phone from 2040 will not only recognize your face, voice and fingerprints (every surface of the phone will be able to detect them, obviously), it will know it's you just by the way you're holding it. Unless you want someone else to use your phone, no one would be able to. For additional privacy, the phone will track your eyes and pixels in the main display will adjust the viewing angle so only you can see what's on it. Sound will also be beamed to you exclusively, in case you don't have the ear implants installed.

Speaking of eye-tracking, it will also allow you to use your phone without your thumbs getting in the way. Scrolling up and down while reading or typing when your hands are occupied, it will be precise enough to offer full handsfree functionality.

Battery


We're not going to try and guess which materials the batteries of the future will be made of, but if we don't get at least five days of battery life by then, we're living in the wrong timeline.


Improvements might also come from co-generation technologies that recharge the battery through the phone's motion, or sunlight, or heat from the chips, although by then there shouldn't be much of it. Speaking of chips... 

CPU, GPU and AI


Yes, you are correct, the phone of 2040 would be able to run Crysis! And thanks to its AI capabilities, it will also bring world peace. Just kidding, we'll always find something to fight about. The AI would be strong by then, however, it will be able to recognize pretty much everything you point the camera at (including people) and give you information about it. The integrated assistant will not only make calls for you, but it will give you financial advice based on your spending, interests and income.

We're going one step further: the phone will be able to detect anomalies in your health by combining information from its sensors (cameras, microphones etc.) and analyzing the sweat from your fingers. Maybe it won't be able to diagnose you, but it will know you well enough to tell you when to see a doctor.

The processor will be able to handle pretty much everything you throw at it, and if you have some extra heavy workloads (or games), they will be handled by cloud computing servers via the ultra-fast 6G connection. This will make owning a desktop computer pointless.

"But I want my mouse, keyboard and 40" monitor!" Have no fear, those and other peripherals will connect to your phone without even having to take it out from your pocket. Apart from a desktop experience similar to what Samsung already has, the 2040 phone will allow you to have multiple operating systems (probably not if it's made by Apple), so you can install one of your choice.

Storage and Memory


That's always been a boring aspect of smartphones, so let's go with 10TB of storage and 32GB of DDR7 RAM, to get it out of the way.

Extra features


Besides the highly advanced versions of what you have in your smartphone today, we imagine other functions, which are done by standalone devices today, will find their way into smartphones in the future. For example:

Toxic gases detector

A lot of homes have carbon monoxide detectors, but what's better than having one with you all the time? Having one that also detects other poisonous gases, that's what!

Scale

The combination of a super sensitive touchscreen and unbreakable body will allow you to use your phone as a scale. From something that weighs less than a gram, to your own weight (you'll probably have to step on it with one foot), your phone will tell you the exact measurement.

3D mapping

Today we have AR, but one day your phone will be able to create 3D analogs of anything from small objects to small rooms. The animated avatars of the future will look just like you and using voice samples from your conversations, the phone will be able to convey messages in your own voice as well.

Antibacterial coating

Smartphones are notoriously dirty even if they appear clean. Studies have found that the average smartphone has more bacteria on it than a toilet seat. While most bacteria aren’t harmful, it will be good to know that your phone will remain germ free no matter what.

Motion sensing

You go to bed, put your phone on the nightstand and it will watch over you while you sleep. Sensors in the device will be able to detect movement in your room and alert you if someone is trying to sneak around.

Virtual ID

Thanks to the increased security of the devices, you won’t have to carry an ID or driver’s license with you. They will be replaced by virtual ones inside the smartphone. If your device gets damaged (stealing it would be pointless since it will essentially be a paperweight), you can just get a new one and everything will be just how you left it thanks to the cloud synchronization. No need to go through the hassle of issuing new credit cards and government identification.

 

There are probably other and more useful functions that can be added to a smartphone one day, but those are a few that make us excited. Either way, the smartphone of the future should be amazing, and we can't wait to see exactly what it has in store for us.

How far from reality was our vision? Feel free to tell us in the comments starting January 1st, 2040!

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31 Comments

1. shiv179

Posts: 192; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Hopefully the notch would be gone by then!

9. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

#EmbraceTheNotch

2. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Iphone in 2040 - 7.5" QHD+ - 3100mAh - Fast charging similar to Qualcomm's QC4.0 - First iphone to record stereo - Gorilla Glass 3 - IP68

17. mahima

Posts: 743; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

i think battery will be 3500mAh... they are a trillion dollar complany...give them some credit...lol

24. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

And android single core still 3000 and multicore still 10000 Lol.

3. afrohoxha

Posts: 264; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Sponsored by Dbrand!

4. fyah_king unregistered

3.5in will be the perfect size in 2020. :)

5. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 946; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

I thought we were going to have all that stuff crammed into a contact lens?

6. rsiders

Posts: 2015; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I'm going back to landlines. Who's with me? :D

10. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

Nah mate! LMAO!

7. gamehead unregistered

Will they even exist?

30. rsiders

Posts: 2015; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Forever.lol

8. hado86

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

For phones I want something akin The Expanse. And for tablets I want the foldable and expandable one from Westworld.

11. Rigmaster

Posts: 234; Member since: Jan 22, 2018

We won't be carrying phones by then. There will be widespread listening and communication devices to the point that phones will be overlap. At that point, they'll only be entertainment and financial transaction devices.

12. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

Will there be humans left to use phones by 2040?

13. master-mkk

Posts: 214; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

smartphones in 2040 if they still exist will be nothing like current smartphones just look at the difference between the galaxy s1 and s9 for example and that is only 8 years so honestly, I think predicting things that are 30+ years n the future is absolutely impossible

14. drifter77

Posts: 402; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

Exactly. By 2040, there would be some kind of chip / capsule injected under the skin with full communications and commands. By that time, holographs should be available and you can just project a screen on virtually any surface.

31. ShadowUnleashed

Posts: 88; Member since: Feb 08, 2018

I wouldn't want any kind of chip in my body.

16. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

30+ years? 2040 is less than 22 years from now.

21. master-mkk

Posts: 214; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

I meant to write 20+

27. srgonu

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

You are correct. How far did laptops go in last 10 yrs (Outer shape and size). Not much. Smartphone evolution has reached its peak almost, I think it will stagnate here until a new product comes.

15. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

If I make it to 2040 that means I'm well into my 70s and won't need a phone.

18. ikenvape

Posts: 309; Member since: May 28, 2014

2040.. I see it as a biometric self sufficient contact lens

19. JCASS889

Posts: 613; Member since: May 18, 2018

actually more likely that the technology for smart phones will be fused with our own brain, in the form of nano technology. i still dont want to have to carry a physical device in 25 years

20. JCASS889

Posts: 613; Member since: May 18, 2018

go to website futuretimeline.net

22. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Probably it won't even a thing anymore, or probably it's won't change that much since it can't be any thinner, or smaller than smartphone that already exist right now, I don't think it will change design wise (probably it will be fold-able, but it will still be a pocket-able rectangle with a screen) Spec-wise, I think it smartphone's hardware development will get stalled soon.. after we hit 4K screen, 512GB storage, 5nm chips, and others stuffs. Of course R&D will push those specs forward, but did we really need it, any specs higher than that probably counted as gimmick since it's useless for most people. Probably manufacturers will release a flagships every 2-3 years in near future. Probably it's all just like how people in 50's and 60's predicting about 2000's. They think about flying cars, flying trains, robots everywhere, but that's all just didn't happen. Even if it's doable (by future technology) the final solution is always simple and practical. So probably foldable tablet that can turn into a bracelet, or smartwatch with projector won't happen either:-/

25. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I remember when the Palm Pre in white came out, it made me think of the scripture Revelation 2:17 in the New Testament; where to each that "overcometh" will be given a "white stone." To a slightly lesser degree, I thought of the same thing when I saw the iPhone 4 in white and silver a year later. The iPhone 3G and 3Gs in white could have triggered the same thoughts in me if I had paid more attention back then. Whenever I see new phones come out in white/silver coloration, I think of the "white stone" from Revelation... I have no doubt that modern and post-modern technology and science factors into many of the unexplained things from scripture. I look forward to seeing what the gift of technology brings to us in the years ahead.

28. matix73

Posts: 36; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

My guess is that smartphones won't exist by then... AR glasses are the future

29. lovemac209

Posts: 33; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

phonearena is gone...

32. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

By 2040 some android phones will be still running Android Pie.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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