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  • Writer's pictureMr. Owl

A Screen Free-Future: How New Advances Are Pushing Phones Into the Background

Do you ever get tired of staring at your phone screen all day? I know I do! As great as smartphones are, it seems we can't put them down. But exciting new advances are emerging that may finally allow us to enjoy a screen-free future. In this post, let's explore three key technologies that are putting the phone screen in the background.

Will The AI Pin Make Screens Obsolete? Like Screen Free?

One of the most promising advances that could enable a screen-free future is the AI Pin. But what exactly is it and how does it work?

Someone wearing AR glasses that show digital information overlayed on the real world, screen-free future

The AI Pin is a small wearable device that uses artificial intelligence to act as your personal assistant. It has a microphone and speaker so you can talk to it. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to access calendar information, send messages, get directions, and more.

But here's the key advantage - it does all this without having to look at your phone! The AI Pin allows you to access many common phone features and apps through voice commands alone. This keeps your eyes free while on the go.

Some common questions about the AI Pin:

How is it different from a smartwatch? 

The AI Pin is focused entirely on voice interaction. There is no visual display. This makes it less distracting than glancing at a watch screen.

What can it do? 

Anything a voice assistant like Siri or Alexa can do - look up information, set reminders, control smart home devices. But the AI Pin makes these interactions easier and more convenient.

Is it available yet? 

The AI Pin is still in development but expected to launch commercially in 2023. It has the potential to really change our relationship with our devices.

The promise of the AI Pin is a future where we can leave our phone in our pocket for hours at a time. It handles common tasks through conversational voice commands. This might just get us closer to that screen-free goal.

Are Screen-Free Phones Next?

In addition to accessories like the AI Pin, completely screen-free phones could become a reality too. We've grown so accustomed to touching glass screens that the idea of a screen-less phone seems crazy. But some companies are prototyping just that.

The goal of a screen-free phone is to make common tasks easy and intuitive without having to visually interact with your device. Here are some techniques being explored:

  • Advanced voice control - Speak naturally to your phone using AI to understand commands. Say "text Mom I'm running late" and it will happen without touching any buttons.

  • Haptic feedback - Feel vibrations or patterns on the phone to confirm commands or notifications. Two quick buzzes could signal a new text message has arrived.

  • Bone conduction - Listen to phone conversations directly through vibrations to your inner ear without having to hold the phone to your head.

  • Gesture controls - Control music playback by twisting your hand in midair or switching tasks by swiping left/right.

Of course, visual interactions will still be necessary sometimes. But the hope is that many common phone uses could work well without needing to stare at a screen for hours on end each day. Will a 100% screen-free phone ever become mainstream? It's too early to tell, but the ideas are intriguing.

Even small steps toward a screen-free experience would be welcome. Google's Pixel phones already include some exclusive screen-free features when paired with their Pixel Buds earbuds. Apple, Samsung, and others are likely exploring similar ideas.

Will AR/VR Finally Fulfill Its Promise?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been gathering momentum for years. COVID-19 may finally be the catalyst that brings extended reality into the mainstream. With people stuck at home, AR/VR offers a way to engage in immersive experiences while maintaining social distance.

But what does this have to do with a screen-free future? AR overlays digital information onto the real world. This allows you to view content hands-free without staring down at your phone screen. And VR transports you into fully virtual environments. Both could fulfill many of our current smartphone uses without the need for a physical screen.

Imagine walking down the street and having turn-by-turn directions or restaurant information visually overlayed right in front of you via AR glasses. Or put on a lightweight VR headset at home to view concerts, meetings, or videos as if you were there in person.

AR and VR still face challenges like bulky hardware, cost, and social acceptance. But with the push caused by recent world events, they could soon unlock a more screen-free world.

The technologies covered here represent just some of the possible paths to reducing phone screen time. But each aims to make accessing information and experiences more convenient and less reliant on visual phone interactions.

What do you think? Which of these advances seem most promising for a screen-free future? Are there any downsides? I'd love to hear your thoughts and predictions!

A screen-free future can help families reset their priorities and connections. It can also help children maintain strong connections with their families instead of being so connected to media. 

Some health benefits of reducing screen time include: 

  • Lower stress

  • Improved sleep habits

  • Better focus and brain function

  • Increased physical activity

  • Improved posture

  • Reduced eye strain

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