Three Smartphone Innovations We Love

Jun 06, 2018
By: Marissa Camilli

We’re not talking about bezel-free screens, extended battery life or high-spec cameras here. These are all innovations that improve our smartphone experience – but they don’t really change the way we fundamentally use them.

The smartphone is undoubtedly a disruptive device – so isn’t it time it started disrupting itself with some completely new ideas?

So we’ve done a little digging about and found three innovations that we’re really excited about. Will these ultimately change the way we use our smartphones and potentially create new opportunities for app developers along the way. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see, because innovation and commercial success aren’t always as intertwined as you might think.

Either way, we think they are pretty cool.

The Movie Projector

Forget filming movies on your smartphone, how about using your device as a projector to show movies?

US-based mobile technology company Wireless Mobi Solution, Inc. (WMS), recently began shipping its MOVI smartphone, which is embedded with the latest Laser High Definition (HD) 720p pico projector. The 50 lumens projector allows the end user to use any flat surface as an additional screen to enjoy and share their favorite digital content, such as; movies, videos, games, etc.

The MOVI has already received critical acclaim from technology pundits – and was recently ranked in the top 10 cool gadgets at CES 2018.

Got a MOVI smartphone, a couple of Bluetooth speakers and a Netflix account, and you’ve suddenly got a movie theatre wherever you go.

While this all might sound a little gimmicky, there are a number of real world applications, beyond big screen showings at your kids’ slumber parties, that this innovative device fulfils.

Sales professionals can PowerPoint the hell out of any network meeting, turning their elevator pitch into a full AV presentation. Corporate trainers can turn any room into a classroom and save time and money on checked baggage by leaving their bulky laptop and projector combo at home. Engineers/mechanics/hobbyists can throw away complex instruction manuals and project large-scale schematics on the wall at eye level above their projects. Artists can turn any wall space into an instant pop-up gallery.

The Outdoorsman

While the smartphone is universally accepted as a mobile device, it doesn’t mean you can take it everywhere. It’s funny, consumers drool over the latest bezel-free, all-glass smartphone designs and then wrap then in an ugly phone case fearing the fragility of the device. Heaven forbid that a phone should get wet – think of the warranty. For some people, the best innovation in smartphone design would be one that doesn’t break when dropped or exposed to the elements.

British automotive company Land Rover believes it has come up with the solution – a rugged smartphone that’s as tough as its all-terrain vehicles.

The Land Rover Explore smartphone disregards the latest fashion trends and comes equipped with an ultra-rugged case, which protects the device from extreme temperatures, salt water and thermal shock.

Designed with the great outdoors in mind, the phone comes fully loaded with useful software including detailed topographic mapping options, instant access to a dashboard that includes weather information, sensor data and an emergency SOS light toggle. The device also comes with a selection of add-ons to suit more adventurous smartphone users.

If you’re a keen climber, mountain biker, kayaker or even surfer – this is the one smartphone that’s likely to survive your next adventure. The Land Rover Explore is also likely to find itself in the hands of construction workers, farmers, delivery drivers and anyone else who works in the elements.

This is great news for app developers designing applications for outdoor living and more rugged environments – after all, an app is only useful if the intended user can actually use it.


Some smartphone innovation goes beyond form and function. Sometimes an innovation can be truly life changing.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we were particularly impressed by the WeWalk smart cane for the visually impaired.

The smart cane takes the traditional cane (essentially a cane with a ball at the end) used by visually impaired people, into the 21st Century.

Sensors on the cane warn of obstacles at chest and head height, such as signs, poles and tree branches, improving users’ perception of their immediate environment. The cane also enables users to use their smartphone without removing the device from the pocket and offers the possibility of specifically designed apps to communicate with the cane and user. This opens up the opportunity for improved navigational aids, which could include in-store navigation for supermarkets and other retail outlets – increasing the users’ levels of independence and confidence.

The smart cane might be a pretty innovative product – but the story of its development is also quite pioneering. The product was developed via a series of “hackathons” and initially funded via a crowdfunding campaign, demonstrating how innovative ideas can become reality with a little more innovative thought.

More Opportunity for App Developers

Innovation always excites us at Digital Turbine because it creates more opportunities for creative app developers to explore. This creates a richer and more diverse app-based eco-system. Can you think of any other environment where so many different business models sit so comfortably together?

Innovation is also at the heart of our business model and we are constantly developing new ways to deliver the right app to the right person at the right time.

The latest innovations at Digital Turbine to complement our pre-loaded app delivery service include:

  • Smart Folders: Recommend apps based on a user’s specific interests without cluttering device screens or hogging memory. This is a great way to deliver targeted apps to the individuals who are most likely to engage and activate over the lifetime of a device, while maintaining the same credibility and security as pre-loading.
  • Single-Tap Installs: Helping to increase conversions by providing a frictionless app install experience. Single-Tap Installs help remove the risk of your customers being side-tracked or discouraged from installing your recommended apps.

To talk to an app delivery expert about your next innovative campaign delivery strategy contact us here.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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