Written by: Jim Rasmusson, Fredrik Dahlgren, Harald Gustafsson and Tord Nilsson
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During the past couple of years, we have seen the multimedia capabilities of mobile phones advance in leaps and bounds. If this trend holds, what role will mobile phones have in coming years? How will they be used? How will services evolve? While no prediction of the future is fail-safe, Ericsson believes that a sound understanding of what mobile phones will be capable of and of the underlying technology driving the evolution gives definition and contour to the discussion.
The multimedia capabilities of mobile phones will continue to evolve for many years—memory capacity poses no obstacle; processing performance continues to advance rapidly; and the cost of adding complex multimedia functionality is declining. Large volumes of mobile phones signify that the cost of components will fall, spurring further advancement in areas such as display and camera sensor technology.
The market has accepted mobile phones as multi-functional devices—disruptive technology—that will take the place of many traditional, portable, consumer electronic devices, such as cameras and music players.
The authors describe ongoing trends in technology that affect multi-media. They also describe trends relating to display and camera technologies, algorithms and coding. Likewise, they discuss trends in memory and silicon technology along with some of the challenges associated with design.
[First published in Ericsson Review no. 01, 2004]