The “Phone” of 2020

I believe that in the year 2020, approximately seven years from the writing of this article, we will have access to current cutting edge space technology.  This should include many of the technologies currently in use on the Curiosity rover which is part of NASA’s Mars exploration program. If even half of the capabilities of the rover can be miniaturized and mass produced, we will see a device that is very similar to the Star Trek Tricorder.  I expect that such a device would cost less than $1000.  That is in line with the current sale price of a new iPhone 5 ($649).  Consider that this phone has the equivalent computing power of a desktop computer circa the year 2000.  So, considering Moore’s law, it is not unreasonable to think that given four more doublings in the next six years we will see some amazing things in the mobile realm.




  • Power source: Fuel cells. 10000< mAh
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz 16 core chip
  • Memory: 16 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage: 1 TB Flash storage
  • 3-axis sensor: gyroscope
  • Communications: GSM radio, UHF radio (satellite), WiFi radio

  • Cameras: 3 MP stereoscopic camera, 10 MP sensor with zoom, 1 MP infrared sensor, 5 MP omnidirectional camera
  • Displays: 1 7″ x 5″ 1080p display, 5″ x 3″ 720p display, 4K 3D laser projector
  • Spectroscopy: laser spectrograph, chemical microscope
  • Environmental monitoring: humidity sensor, pressure sensor, temperature sensor, wind speed sensor ultraviolet radiation sensor.
  • Chemical science: Mass spectrometer, gas chromatograph
  • Radiation: Geiger counter
  • Microphones: dual microphones, noise canceling microphone
  • Speaker: stereo speakers, subwoofer
  • Software: Artificial Intelligence software, redundant operating system