With the front of the phone becoming locked down with as near an edge-to-edge display as is technically possible, manufacturers are putting the big unused area on the back of their phones to an innovative use – an under-developed, second screen.
Examples of interesting backside smartphone innovations in recent times is too many than it ever.
The best one perhaps is YotaPhone, a dual-screen device with an entire e-ink screen on its rear. The e-ink display is used for additional and companion functionality, such as displaying longer-form text content, permanent notifications, real-time sports scores, or even quantified health data.
Turning to larger players, Apple has been filing patents that could see some growths swelling on the rear of future iPhones. Earlier this month it was granted a patent for bayonet mounts on the rear of the iPhone that could allow for swappable lenses in future.
Android OEM behemoth Samsung, meanwhile, has slapped a heart rate monitor on the rear of its latest flagship handset, the Galaxy S5.
New flagship, HTC One M8, has two camera lenses on the back, extending the camera’s capabilities via twin imaging sensors. HTC has also cooked up something more radical with an accessory for the M8: a case that allows users to view dot-matrix style notifications through the casing itself.