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The Future Of Technology: Cell Phones

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Cell phone technology has evolved greatly over the years. Where at one time everyone was amazed that a phone could be made to be carried outside the home; to which phone has the best capabilities needed to survive in today's life. Most of us use our cell phones to take and send pictures, even video. We can text message, IM, and download ringtones and games. Most of us can even watch a little television and do some limited web browsing. If you are one of us that has been using mobile phones for a number of years, you can appreciate just how far they have come. Most of the younger generations never saw the "bricks" that started it all...yes those big lumpy, obtuse phones in the bag. Most of the time you could not get reception and if you did the call was still unclear. Looking at all of the technology available to us today, our cell phones seem to stand out above it all.

The first generation phone was the analog phone. The battery capacity was limited and required antennas. It was restricted to making nothing more than standard phone calls. Because the phone looks box shaped and were not very mobile, they are often referred to as "bricks". The "Bricks" evolved through the years to become smaller, more reliable, and a lot more mobile. By the 1990's we began seeing the 2G phones. The second-generation cell phone made traveling communication more affordable and convenient. These phones had stable call quality and a suitable standby time. These second-generation phones are able to support the demand for on the go data, by supporting MMS, GRPS, WAP, limited internet, and some Java features. As the use of 2G phones became more widespread and people began to utilize mobile phones in their daily lives, it became clear that demand for data services like the Internet was growing. With a great demand for data, there would also be an increasing demand for faster data speeds. The 2G technology was nowhere near up to the job, so the industry began to work on the next generation of technology known as 3G. It is the 3G phones that the majority of us use today and would be lost without. (unknown, 2010)

So where is the future of cell phones going? The only place to go is forward. Take for example the United States Military; cell phones are an integral part of their everyday activities. If something important were to arise, the Chain of Command has to be able to reach each one of their soldiers to have them prepared for any situation as quickly as possible. Another example would be the GPS system that most 3G phones possess. Although our military personal are well trained in map reading, it is more efficient to be able to simply press a button. Cell phones are not a standard issue item for the service member, however with the evolution and continuous advancement in cell phone technology they soon may become a standard part of their gear.

Today we have already begun to see the 4G technology. Unlike their predecessors of mobile technology, 4G mobile will be widely used for internet access on computers as well as carrying cell phone communications. The users that are in areas that have strong 4G coverage will be able to use it for a home broadband connection. A broadband connection does not require any cabling to their household. The 4G technology will also eliminate the need to be in a wireless hotspot to have internet services. This will enable users to have instant access wherever they go. (Lister, 2011)

Another concept that has been in the works for some time is phone that can project a high-definition television image. Researchers at Cornell University developed a new microelectromechanical system (MEMS) for rapidly scanning wide areas with a laser. A projector based on the device would be about the size of dime and could cast a meter-wide image on a surface only half a meter away. This is all accomplished with a small mirror, about half a millimeter across, suspended by carbon fibers. The carbon fibers amplify the vibrations of a piezoelectric motor, moving the mirror and thus creating the image. (Bullis, 2006)

New Programs and features are being designed every day. As these concepts become reality, there will be greater risks. A company called ClassifEye has developed a unique means to ensure that the identity authentication information is in real time and not a stored image or hacked authorization. Where once identity was a question best answered by philosophers and psychologists, it is now the territory of cutting-edge digital technology. Thanks to technology, identity has taken more concrete characteristics such as passwords, credit card numbers, and secret identification numbers. Technology has its price, and the ultimate price of a concrete identity is that it can be stolen. To target the threat of identity theft, biometric solutions like voice and fingerprint authentication technologies are slowly being implemented worldwide. Unlike a password or PIN, your fingerprints can neither be changed and are extremely hard to forge by another person, and are therefore far more secure. (Teitelbaum, 2007)

Technology is reaching beyond just protecting identity to protecting our other valuables using cell phones. For over a decade technology visionaries have been talking about technology that people can use in their cell phones to get direction, track their friends, keep an eye on any special object, kid tracking, or simply find the nearest hotel or hospital. Now finally those kinds of services are starting to become easily available with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) that makes our lives simpler and smoother. The majority of us have this technology in our phones, however even the world of mobile GPS is being expanded. Mobile GPS identifies a user's position information with details including latitude, longitude with maximum accuracy up to 15 meters in radius. (GPS services in mobile phones, 2008) Many companies are now offering plans that will include automatic GPS location on their children's' phones. (Sprint Family Locator, 2011)As time has moved on, GPS technology is now measuring the exact position of the mobile user more accurately by calculating a user's coordinates with the help of satellite signals. With the use of satellite signals, you will soon be able to monitor not just your children; you may even be able to monitor your home and vehicles...all through your cell phone.

With all the technology that is evolving today, the innovations for the future are limitless. One of the more interesting concepts that are currently being worked on is cell phones with Infrared. This concept was requested by the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense sent out a request for development of a cell phone that is based on thermal imaging. This type of technology is also referred to as heat vision and infrared.



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