3 ideas for a better iPhone 5

Early iPad and iPhone prototype pictures have been made available as part of the defining court case between Apple [AAPL] and Samsung.  Today let's consider some of the more extreme ways with which the iPhone 5/new iPhone can set itself apart from its Korean rival.

[ABOVE: The latest iPhone 5 video purports to show the casing of the new device. True or false? You decide.]

Biometric security

We use our smartphones. They are becoming an essential portal to almost everything in our digital lives.

For consumers that's all your communication, images, contacts, URLs and localization data -- no one wants that information widely shared.

For enterprise users -- already flocking to iOS because they seem to think it's more secure than Android alternative -- the risk of lost BYOD devices is that miscreants may potentially gain access to all manner of corporate data, including the potential threat to highly confidential material held on the company intranet.

That's before you even consider the risks of malware or Trojan Horse bug wielding third party apps.

Human curiosity means an astonishing 83 percent of those who find a mobile device can't stop themselves from taking a look at the data they hold -- though sometimes that's just about finding out who to return the gadget to.

The need for more secure security systems is driving mobile device makers to invest in biometric identification technologies. This is why Apple purchased mobile security firm AuthenTec for $356 million last week. The latter creates a range of mobile device security solutions, including fingerprint scanning technologies. How much evidence do you need that somewhere down the line your mobile device will scan your fingerprint?

It won't stop there: criminals have been known to remove people's fingers just to use their thumbprint. This means device vendors will likely deploy multi-faceted security protocols: PIN codes, retina scans, face recognition. Oh, and take a look at this Apple patent for a few ideas as to what's to come in a future new iPhone. Will we see this in iPhone 5?

It seems possible, Goode Intelligence today predicts mobile biometric security will move from: "An interesting concept” to a “must-have” feature for all smart mobile devices," by 2015.

Wireless recharging

I've written about inductive device charging before. More recently I heard some speculation from industry insiders who are wondering if the new iPhone will support such a feature. If it were to do so, it's only a question of time until it would also be made available for iPads and Apple latops, too.  (The latter might also benefit from ideas for solar charging).

That the company is exploring these ideas is clear. The company was last month granted a patent (Patent No. 8,207,906) that would equip a docking station with inductive charging circuits and a reradiating antenna.

" The dock housing is further configured to enable charging the battery of the handheld device through an inductive charge coupling mechanism, and to also provide improved wireless communication by integrating the reradiating antenna as shown…" the patent description tells.

So right now this speculation suggests an iPhone that will only work when you ask it to do so, and which you recharge simply by dropping it down on near the dock in your house. Would this be enough to put the Galaxy SIII to shame?

Google Glass

We all know Google is working away to develop a wearable eyeglasses solution for use with Android devices -- we all saw the launch video. The search engine must have Googled the Apple rumor machine when it decided to jump into the eyeglasses fray: Apple's been working away to develop its own advanced video eyeglass displays for years.

Most recently, Patently Apple informs us the company has filed a new patent application for a tech that delivers Retina Display quality video to glasses of this type, combined with improvements that suggest low power demand.

What’s this for? I'm thinking the implications go way beyond watching movies or gaming and see these things as an interesting way to enable all-new solutions for enhanced and augmented reality: anything from interactive guides to places you might visit to interactive 3D mapping solutions that put a virtual and more informative layer atop the surroundings you might find yourself in.

I do worry about how many pedestrians might become so immersed in their virtual world they forget to check the traffic before they cross the road.

Will we see solutions like this alongside iPhone 5? I don't think so, not yet. I think the complexity of this technology means it's a way away from being capable of release with the kind of finesse Apple likes to bring.

What we already know

Here's a list of the key iPhone 5 claims circulating in the speculation circus this month:

  • Thinner (c..8mm)
  • Faster (Multi-core chip, graphics improvements)
  • 4-inch screen
  • Improved battery life
  • Better cameras
  • 19-pin Dock connector with adaptors available for use with older peripherals
  • Micro-SIM support (even more thinner)
  • NFC support -- one day this feature is in, the next it is out.

What are you expecting?

Also read:

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