Frederic Guichard of DXOMARK talks about the future of smartphone design and the need for innovation

By Industry leader | Published 10 Jun 2021 12:03 IST
Frederic Guichard of DXOMARK talks about the future of smartphone design and the need for innovation

We're celebrating our 20th birthday this month, and we've invited industry experts, researchers and scientists to write in and paint a vision of the future, 20 years from now. Here's what Frederic Guichard, CEO & CTO, DXOMARK had to share about his vision of the future.

While the pandemic has increased the distance between people, the need to stay connected has grown exponentially. India, one world’s largest market for smartphones witnessed a rise in handset sales by 18% in the first quarter of 2021 (IDC). Consumers as a result are faced with a plethora of choices. DXOMARK scores provide much-needed guidance to consumers in picking the device that best suits their usage. 

As multimedia devices that we use to take and share photos, play games, monitor our heart rate, manage our bank accounts, shop online and even find dates smartphones have come a long way from previous generation cellular phones that one used mainly for phone calls and text messages. Innovation never stops in the smartphone industry. DXOMARK helps consumer electronics manufacturers create the best possible products for consumers, continuously raising the standards of the industry based on scientific assessment. From years of experience in this ecosystem, this is how DXOMARK anticipates the future of smartphones.

Innovation today focused on smartphone design

Even today, as smartphones have become multi-media mammoths that impact every aspect of our lives, the smartphone ecosystem is thriving with activity. In terms of connectivity, 5G has started making its presence in various parts of the world. When it comes to screen design smartphone makers such as Samsung have introduced foldable display. Others like OPPO announced a working prototype of a rollable display. There is work on behind-the-display cameras that promise consumers a smoother screen experience and better selfies. This concept is also true of smartphone audio playback systems. Health is another area that is pushing phone makers to push the envelope on their devices smartness.

Beside these tech innovations that will modify smartphone design, performance and experience overall short term, we can expect phones to go leaps and bounds ahead practically become an extension of ourselves in the decades to come.

From Entertainment to Immersive Experience: What lies beyond 3D

Various innovative technologies in the smartphone ecosystem have made airwaves but missed the mark in terms of quality. We can expect them to finally deliver their full potential in the next decade. What makes a piece of technology truly impactful is when it enhances our life experiences. A great immersive experience is one that makes you feel as if you were there.  

3D cameras with Lightfield capture and 3D screens promise 3D photo and video experience. This could lead to immersive video conferences. Imagine your online yoga class if you could tilt the screen to the instructor from the side to notice the nuances of getting the pose right.  

Google recently demonstrated its prototype screen that makes the scenery outside appear as real as it you were there viewing it through a window. Fully functional and high-quality 3D screens could become a reality for the mass market one day. Imagine shopping as well online when you can feel the cashmere with your fingers. Touch screens that feel texture through highly advanced haptics feedback could be the future of smartphone display or back.

What if you played a racing game where you actually hear the driver behind you as he hits the accelerator? That is 3D surround sound done right. Some of these technologies are at their very nascent stages at this point. But if properly executed, this dreamy future could well be reality.

The ultimate universal remote

What makes smartphones the centre of all experiences connected is their convenience and accessibility. In the coming decades, these benefits will only push the boundary of connected living making phones literally an extension of oneself. 

We can already control our TV, home surveillance, central heating, home audio and car scrolling down our phone screens using our fingertips.  In spite of these capabilities, smartphones today have not completely found mass appeal for such features. Setting up these functions on your phone remains a Herculean task and a barrier for many. What is missing today is the seamless user experience. With advances in AI and software integration, this can happen in the coming decades. Multimedia functionalities is exactly what DXOMARK is focused on helping consumer electronics manufacturers with.

The smartphone of tomorrow will be one true universal remote. Metaverse may become a daily reality where high quality and immersive multimedia experience would intersect with great connectivity.

Progress in smartphone components and precise software integration needed

Innovation in hardware specifications in any one area alone cannot guarantee great results. It would require rapid innovation in all aspects of smartphone technology such as the battery, display, camera and audio, their integration together through software advancements and an eye for the best flawless consumer journey to make all this a reality.  How the software will balance the performance of different components will be key.

- By Frederic Guichard, CEO & CTO, DXOMARK

To read what other industry leaders and experts have to say about the future in their respective fields, visit our 20th Anniversary Microsite