When a technology is well established, it is difficult to imagine what will come next. There are already many companies that are trying to find a functional substitute for smartphones, such as Humane’s AI Pin , a device that, for now, will not arrive in Spain. This does not have a screen, but instead projects the information and controls it offers in the palm of the user’s hand.
However, it is not the only device that wants to become the mobile phone of the future. Some projects have already been presented in which the voice is the protagonist, and some companies have even put on the table the idea of micro implants that allow this technology to be carried under the skin, something that not everyone would be willing to do, but it can have a long-term effect.
Looking for a device that replaces phones as we know them also means looking for new ways to interact with technology beyond touch screens, which today are so widespread on devices such as computers, tablets, and even some tables .
What is Humane Pin AI
Humane, which is the company that develops it, has just officially unveiled AI Pin , the device with which they want to be the replacement for smartphones. And they want to do it without a screen, since this gadget has a projector that would bring the information to the palm of the hand, literally. It is a great innovation in terms of the way of interacting with technology, since it eliminates the need for a screen , considerably reducing its weight and size, a problem that larger mobile phones that are not foldable still have.
This device is square and quite compact. The idea is to wear it on clothing thanks to a system of magnets, making the camera and projector so that the camera and projector are oriented towards the same place as the eyes of the person wearing it . In this way it will capture information and be able to project its interface both on the palm of the hand and on other surfaces.
Logically, it also has a microphone and speakers, which can be used in the same way as a mobile phone, to talk or listen to music, for example. However, the fact that it can be worn at all times facing forward means that it can also do other things such as automatic meeting summaries, a function powered by artificial intelligence and which can be extremely useful.
Being a first device of this type, it is normal that there are still some things to polish, such as the variety of applications. Although the device will be using Android AOSP, its platform is completely closed, and only allows the use of services with which the company has some type of agreement, which at the moment places it well below a conventional smartphone.
Augmented reality glasses
Augmented reality glasses are a reality, and the truth is that there are already quite a few models on the market. However, replacing a device like the smartphone with glasses is not feasible right now, especially due to its limited autonomy and lack of software. The future, on the other hand, is promising, since these devices have great potential.
The OPPO Air Glass 2 are one of the most complete, and the company is making great progress. They are the first in the world to include resin lenses with optical waveguide so that users can choose their prescription and see correctly. They have microprojectors that show all the information, while the controls are carried out by sliding your hand or pressing the button. At the moment, it has functions such as playing music, synchronizing location, displaying the weather and even working as a teleprompter. OPPO continues to incorporate functions into this device, which has the same appearance and practically the same size as conventional glasses.
Xiaomi also has smart glasses, which , and which are really promising. These mix augmented and virtual reality, using electromagnetic technology to make the lenses opaque or transparent depending on the moment and the app. This prototype has a compact and comfortable size. On the other hand, Apple has also jumped into the pool with the Apple Vision Pro, although in this case, it seems that it is a device more dedicated to work and productivity. In addition, its helmet shape makes it not very comfortable if what you are looking for is to change it completely for your mobile phone.
Meta, for its part, teamed up with Ray-Ban to launch the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, which have speakers, a camera and a set of up to 5 microphones with which they are capable of improving audio recording. Currently, they can share photos and videos in real time if the user orders it using a voice command, although it also has a touch panel on the side. Google is not far behind, and although it has only shown some promotional shots of its glasses, these would have functions as interesting as instant translation powered by AI.
At the 2023 Mobile World Congress, other brands such as TCL or ZTE have shown their alternatives, however, the latter, the ZTE Neovision Glass, are more intended for leisure than for daily use in terms of productivity and communication. To use them, in fact, you need a mobile phone, console or computer to display their content. TCL ‘s RayNeo Of course, there are alternatives underway that could grow in the future.
Electronic implants and tattoos
Although it is an even more invasive solution than a smartphone or smart glasses, there are companies working on making technological implants the future of communication. One of them is Neuralink, Elon Musk’s company, which promises that it will begin with implants in 2024 .
This implant would not only be intended to replace the mobile phone, but it could also collect information about the body in which it is implanted, so that it can offer more data to doctors for an intervention or treatment. To work, the chip, called N1, would be implanted in a region of the brain that controls movement intention. This has small ultra-thin and flexible threads, and would be accompanied by software capable of interpreting the information collected by this processor.
A priori, it is intended, especially, for people who are quadriplegic or with diseases such as ALS, since it could help them express themselves only using their mind, since they could control some electronic devices with this technology. But, in the future, Musk’s company could try to expand the possibilities of this device so that it could perform more functions, perhaps even helped by another physical support on which certain tasks are performed.
It is not the only alternative. BrainGate, developed by Cyberkinetics , is another system currently in clinical testing that seeks to translate brain signals to control other electronic devices . This process, which is mainly aimed at people with physical disabilities, can help them not only interact with devices such as computers or mobile phones, but even move a wheelchair.
As with Neuralink, in the future, this could evolve to replace the smartphone. It would not be unreasonable to think about carrying one of these implants that, added to a kind of smartphone without a screen, only composed of the necessary hardware to complement it, could become a mobile phone that is controlled solely with the mind.