Mobile phone users can now look forward to using handsets that will work by sensing mere movement of the fingers with the advent of 4G technology, mobile communications and wireless broadband expert Rajiv Vijayan has said. He is the vice-president of engineering in Qualcomm Incorporated, California.

“We have seen touch-screen cell phones, but with the introduction of 4G technology, users will not even have to touch the phone. The screen will respond to the movement of the fingers,” Dr. Vijayan said while delivering a lecture on ‘3G and 4G: emerging trends in mobile communications.'

The lecture was organised by the Asian School of Business (ASB) as part of its leadership lecture series here on Monday. “The sensors, which track the motion of the objects in front of it, will have to be more micro-efficient to react to finger gestures,” he said.

The usage of mobile communications technology differs from person to person and if one uses the phone only for voice-calls and SMS, a 2G device would be sufficient. However, for multi-functional applications, 3G and 4G devices would be useful, Dr. Vijayan said.

The distinction between 3G and 4G devices differed from east to west and even from country to county, he said. “In the United States, the entry of navigational tools in mobile phones has marked a revolution in the daily lives of those on the move. Display screen is also a differentiator for the customer. Everybody likes a big screen display. But portability is an issue. To sort out this, flexible displays are in the research and development pipeline,” he added.

The market for 3G and 4G devices were expected to grow very fast in the coming years, he said. Presently, there were five billion wireless subscribers worldwide, and of these, one billion were already in the 3G category, which showed the adoption had been increasing by day.

Although the earlier trend was for the phones to be thin and light, in the last two years, the devices were getting slightly bulkier. While there was substantial enhancements in processor and applications, battery technology was yet to catch up with these developments. The Research and Development (R&D) units of mobile communication companies should focus on this area, he added.