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Future of mobile is virtual reality, according to Android

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Story highlights

  • Matias Duarte, Google's Director of Android User Experience, says smartphones must work the way people expect
  • "I want everything can you touch on the screen to operate like objects in the real world do," he says
  • Duarte identifies gesturing and "tangibility" as big upcoming developments in mobile technology
  • Says Android is "a gift" Google are giving to the world

In the future we will have screens not just in the palm of our hands, but all around us, according to Matias Duarte, Google's Director of Android User Experience.

Talking to CNN at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Duarte identified gesturing and "tangibility" as the next major developments in mobile technology.

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"Computers have to work the way people expect and not the other way round. I want everything can you touch on the screen to operate like objects in the real world do. That doesn't mean they have to look like copies of objects in the real world, but they have to be tangible and physical and delightful," he said.

Admitting that using a phone can be an emotional experience, Duarte said: "In the old days we used to be poking at phones. If I were to start poking you, you wouldn't like it, but when you start stroking, it's a totally different message.

"Right now we only recognize a couple of fingers, and on screens that are small and always in the palm of your hand.

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    "In the future, we will look at the gestures of your entire body, facial expressions, arms, all of the fingers that you have, and you're going to have screens not just in the palm of your hand, but all around you," he said.

    Duarte promised that Google would never clamp down on the user's ability customize Android on their phones.

    And he said one of the biggest challenges for Android was designing a platform for communities.

    "We don't look at a single target market, we try to think of this as a gift we're giving to the world and that's a big responsibility we take very seriously. I want it to be computing power for everyone. I want it to connect people, and make it open and free, not controlled by any company or any government."