Do you remember the “non-porous iPhone” proposed ten years ago

As early as 2007, Apple had an engineering machine with a full body without any openings and buttons, but the technical level at that time could not make such a product. Unexpectedly, more than ten years have passed, it is still so difficult to achieve.

The development trend of mobile phones over the years has made us feel that in the foreseeable future, mobile phones will definitely move towards such an integrated development.

From the early feature phones in different shapes: flip, slide, and even rotate, to touch screen + buttons later. Nowadays, in the era of full-screen smartphones, removing the headphone jack, hiding the sensor under the screen, and going to the under-screen camera, we are getting closer and closer to that “ultimate form”.

Although the current mass-produced machines have not been able to achieve “no holes”, in order to reduce the number of “holes”, manufacturers first use these interfaces on the mobile phones to “surge”.

The first thing to bear is the disappearance of the headphone jack. This old antique that has been active since we were born was so easily “destroyed” by the iPhone 7 on the mobile phone. Nowadays, if you want to use a wired headset, you can only plug it into the Lighting/Type-C. On the interface.

This universal 3.5mm audio interface has existed in electronic devices for more than 40 years since it was first carried on the first-generation Sony Walkman Walkman. Almost all earphones, stereos, and various devices that can play music use this interface, and its versatility has always been unmatched.

There are different reasons why mobile phone manufacturers cancel the headphone jack. Whether it is waterproof requirements or better sound quality of the data interface, they are actually untenable reasons, but now looking back, maybe this is only a necessary for mobile phone integration and non-porous. The road-wireless.

From wired phones to mobile phones, this may be the earliest “wireless”. Later, the antennas of “Big Brother” and “PHS” with antennas were built into the body of the mobile phone, which is an upgrade from wireless to integrated. The next wireless object is the last interface on the mobile phone-the charging interface.

The two main functions of this interface are charging and data transmission. In terms of transmission, the current Wi-Fi 6E and 5G speeds are already very close to wired. The wireless charging power has also exceeded 67 W, and even the actual charging time can be on the same level as wired charging.

Although the current wireless charging is only short-distance contact, long-distance wireless charging can only be achieved in the laboratory, but in the future to solve the energy loss problem, wireless charging will be more practical than now, and we do not use wired charging. Reasons.

Therefore, it is completely technically feasible to remove the charging interface. It’s just that wireless chargers are not as popular as wired charging, and it is difficult to emergency charge if there is no wireless charger around.

Until the day when high-power wireless charging becomes popular, there may be manufacturers who dare to completely cut off the charging interface. Before that, even “cutting off” should only hide the interface.

In fact, non-porous mobile phones are purely technically speaking, the current level of technology has been able to remove most of the openings. It’s just that many non-opening “alternative technologies” experience are not good enough, so they are introduced to the market, and it is difficult to persuade users to buy such a product that may experience degradation at a higher price.

Since the era of full screens, the “hole” we most want to solve is actually the front camera. The light and distance sensor manufacturers next to it have long been able to put them under the screen.

Whether it is to make the “bangs” smaller or to make a lifting mechanism, the goal is to make the front area as small as possible, or even hide it, to achieve a perfect full screen.

With the advent of under-screen camera technology, we now really have a way to “hide” it.

As for the speakers and earpieces, the screen sound technology can be used, and the exciter can be used to vibrate the screen instead of the sound unit. This is a technology that has been widely verified.

Or bone conduction, or cantilever piezoelectric ceramics similar to the MIX generation. In short, it is not difficult to make sound without opening a hole in the mobile phone.

But how to hide the microphone is a difficult point. To transmit sound, it is difficult to achieve without opening the hole. However, the semi-permeable membrane technology can solve this problem by making small holes that are invisible to the naked eye but can be breathable.

Another difficulty is the SIM card slot of the mobile phone, but this is not a technical problem, but a problem of the interests of the operators. Now that the eSIM technology is so mature, which manufacturer can persuade the operators to jointly launch an eSIM mobile phone? Probably make a truly non-porous phone first.

However, immature technologies such as the under-screen camera, pressure-sensitive buttons, screen sound, and hidden microphone are all concentrated on one product, and the actual experience is still unknown.

The current development trend of mobile phones in the foreseeable future is to achieve “true full screen”, and the next stage may be “true non-porous mobile phones.” However, after these goals are reached, will the development of mobile phones stop?

Of course not, the entire development history of mobile phones is the history of mobile phone screens becoming bigger and bigger, and the screen-to-body ratio is getting higher and higher. After the phone screen has taken up the entire front of the phone, the next step may be to expand the screen further.

Android manufacturers that have already sensed the first move have already begun the exploration of the “next stage” mobile phone form, folding screens, scrolling screens, splicing screens… they have tried everything that flexible screens can do at present, but in the end Which is the future direction of mobile phones?

And the most stable Apple still seems to be in a hurry. Perhaps the final form of the phone envisioned by the iPhone is a complete “glass”, just like the “water droplets” of the Trisolaran, without a trace of flaws.

It is difficult to say what the future of mobile phones will be. Maybe it is a folding screen, or a scroll screen, which is another way to unfold the mobile phone screen, or a perfectly integrated mobile phone envisioned by Apple. Of course, the future of mobile phones will develop into what we can’t even imagine now.

However, far-sighted manufacturers should have already begun preparations. Maybe they have a “future mobile phone” that they understand in their own laboratory.

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Helen Chen

Helen Chen

Author: CO-Founder of GCC

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