Ten ways smartphone tech is changing the world

Packed full of sensors and cameras, modern smartphones are mobile powerhouses connected to vast warehouses of computers.

This fusion of mobile and cloud-based technologies - together with advances in areas such as machine learning - is on the cusp of helping make staples of science fiction, such as self-driving cars, a reality.

Here are just some of the ways that smartphone technologies are changing the world.

Looking out for driverless cars

The cost of self-driving cars could plummet thanks to research into how smart vehicles could replace tens of thousands of dollars of sensors with a smartphone camera.

University of Cambridge researchers have developed a deep learning system that can take a smartphone video feed and accurately label people, buildings, signs and other elements a driver needs to know about. Combined with another system that accurately maps the position of the car without relying on GPS, the researchers claim the technologies will play an important role in guiding both cars and robots.

Image: University of Cambridge

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.