This is inevitable: the iPhone, 5 years into the future

I love my iPhone for what it does and even more so for what it might be capable of doing the next year and the year after – and beyond. Heck, a whole cottage industry of mockups and concept renders has sprung up around forthcoming iPhones.

If you ask Aatma Studios, a future iPhone will have a holographic keyboard (Fox News shamefully thought the concept was real!). Another guy, a student, dreamt up a Vibrative Virtual Keyboard that lets you “type” on flat surfaces. Taking their design cues, YouTube user “FranSnk3d” last week posted this nice clip.

I know it is too easily admissible, but so would had been the original iPhone if someone had laid out the concept for you years prior to the January 2007 introduction. Let’s also not forget pico projection is here and that holographs have come quite a long way.

Indeed, who’s to say this won’t be a future iPhone five or so years from today?

You may have not realized it yet, but the future is already upon us.

For starters, Samsung is promising us phones with bendable displays.

Increasingly, high-end phones with 1080p displays are becoming a norm (HTC was first) so a 1080p iPhone is very likely, too. And with flexible displays making their way into smartphones and tablets in 2013, many feel Apple should make an iPhone with a bendable display.

Samsung shows off flexible AMOLED at CES 2011

Speaking of displays, how about an iPhone with a transparent display?

At CES 2011, Motorola was first to bring to life the idea of a smartphone that could also be a desktop PC (remember the Atrix?).

Motorola Atrix dock
A CES 2011 breakthrough: Motorola’s Atrix could drive the real computer, if need be.

And what do all these examples have in common?

Easy, these are all technologies either readily available (and incorporated into consumer products) today or in the process of being validated for mainstream use.

Sure, Apple only taps the latest tech where it makes sense – that’s why NFC still hasn’t found its way into the iPhone – but the industry won’t be standing still and if Apple doesn’t do this dream iPhone, somebody else will.

At least we know Apple’s researching the future.

The firm patented pico projection systems that can read and react to the silhouettes of gestures in front of the projections. They also hold an interesting patent on Minority Report-style 3D gestures.

However, it’s anyone guess whether these inventions ever find way into Apple devices of the future.

So, does anyone dare say that an iPhone around end of the decade won’t be anything like that concept clip?

Just be careful with predictions – we might revisit your comments in 2017.