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Samsung offers look at future of mobile phones

Health scanners and holographic displays

Mobile phones will undergo a dramatic transformation over the next few years, incorporating more powerful processors and more storage, as well as new technologies, a Samsung executive said today.

The addition of these technologies will dramatically expand the capability of mobile handsets, which will have sensors to monitor a user's health and offer a wider range of entertainment and online services, such as shopping, said Kang-Hun Lee, vice-president of Samsung's next-generation terminals team. Voice will remain a "basic capability" of these devices, he said.

"We are pretty much focusing on the multimedia capabilities," Lee said.

By 2010 or so, handsets will use flexible or holographic displays and could have processors that run at clockspeeds up to 5GHz, Lee said. In addition, they may pack up to 10GB of flash memory or hard disks that can hold 20GB of data or more, he said.

Future handsets will also include more advanced cameras, capable of capturing 3D and holographic images, and rely on fuel cells or solar panels for power, Lee said. Future handsets will switch seamlessly from one network to another, moving between cellular networks, mobile WiMax and other networks, he said.

While much of the new technologies have yet to move beyond the R&D lab, Samsung anticipates the gradual addition of new technologies and capabilities into its handsets. For example, Samsung will next year put a 1GHz StrongArm processor inside a mobile phone, Lee said.

In June, Samsung revealed it plans to add mobile Wimax support to a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) handset. That handset is due to hit the market during the first half of 2007, said Hwan Woo Chung, vice-president at Samsung's Mobile WiMax Group, speaking at that time.


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