Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: From Large Mobile Phones to Small Mobile Phones...and Back to Large?

Photo Credit:
Happy Throwback Thursday!

With all the buzz around the announcement of the new iPhone 6, and the competition releasing their new smartphones on the market, it seems fitting to look back at the beginning designs of mobile phones. 

To the left you can see the progression of mobile phones. When Motorola first put out their cell phone, it was almost bigger than a house phone, but as time went on, they recognized the demand for smaller phones. Likewise, other major cell phone manufacturers followed suit and kept trying to make mobile phones smaller and smaller. 

As you can see in today's generation, mobile phones are turning into smartphones, and those smartphones are reverting back to the 'bigger is better' motto. Apple typically remained the same size, but with their latest iPhone, the screen is much larger than previous models. It is comparable to Samsung's Galaxy Note smartphones. With all the features and capabilities, developers needed to adapt the user interface to better fit all of the functionality. 

Similar to smartphones, the User Interfaces (UI) of Virtual Agents have progressively changed over the course of time to better accommodate users. In the past, Virtual Agent interfaces were text on a DOS screen, and eventually evolved to look very similar to AOL instant messenger. Now, Virtual Agents have become more sleek, can include multi-pane U.I.'s, avatars and promotions, the potential for speech capabilities, predictive text, and much more. In the past, Virtual Agents found their home on a website, and were best accessed from a laptop or computer; however, today, Virtual Agents make so much sense for the mobile customer experience (right, Siri?).

The user interface is not the only thing that is constantly updated; the administrative tools have also come a long way. For example, Virtual Agents can now integrate with third-party platforms, provide custom reporting, and with the Internet of Everything now in play, the capabilities are endless.  

What do you think the future of user interfaces will look like? How do you think the Internet of Everything will play a role in device designs?