I'm looking for an expression to use about a recent technology, where there are some uses already, but there may be more not yet widely known, and people are still figuring out what to use it for. I would like to say for example

It's been 3 years since smartwatches came out, but [there are more possibilities in them that can be leveraged that people don't know about]"

meaning that there is a new use coming up which I'm going to talk about. What I would like to express is that there is something more in them, that has not been leveraged so far, but is about to be.

I know about "more than meets the eye", but I'm looking for something that refers more specifically to a new way that something can be used in.

  • 2
    Potential applications? Mar 10, 2016 at 11:41
  • 4
    Or just potential... untapped potential?
    – Sakatox
    Mar 10, 2016 at 12:02
  • @JohnClifford - I love this! Very succinct and not overly marketingish. Mar 10, 2016 at 13:02
  • Glad you like it. :) I'd post as an answer but it would be too similar to the one DAVE posted and would just clutter up the question. Mar 10, 2016 at 13:02
  • @Sakatox - I love untapped potential too, it's very close to what I meant. Mar 10, 2016 at 13:04

4 Answers 4


I write about modern tech on a regular basis - I would use

...but we are only beginning to scratch the surface of their amazing potential.

If you wish, you can change 'amazing' to 'incredible,' 'unlimited,' or another sensational adjective of your choosing.

  • This is lovely! Sounds majestic. Mar 10, 2016 at 13:20
  • 1
    Although it may be a bit too much to say if there isn't really more potential in the technology than what's already been leveraged (which is my case). Mar 10, 2016 at 13:27
  • I accepted this answer as the most elegant. The simple suggestions by John Clifford ("potential applications") and Sakatox ("untapped potential") helped a lot, too. Mar 11, 2016 at 13:33

You could consider using "uncharted technology or territory" which is a broadly used term when explaining a new technology that has been unheard of. The adjective uncharted means:

not shown or located on a map; unexplored; unknown, as a place or region


Your example:

It's been 3 years since smartwatches came out, but there are more uncharted technologies (territories) in them...

Actual Usage:

Samsung Wearable Technology Ventures Into Uncharted Territory With New Smart Ring Patent

[Tech Times]

  • 1
    Another great idea. Combine it with my suggestion and others, and we get something like "but we are only just beginning to pioneer in the uncharted territories of their potential applications." Say this, and you'll have an award winning article : )
    – Adam Hayes
    Mar 10, 2016 at 12:24
  • 1
    @AdamHayes I like your expression, "scratch the surface of their amazing potential". +1)
    – user140086
    Mar 10, 2016 at 12:25
  • 1
    Wow, thanks! Nice suggestions and sources. I like "uncharted", but "uncharted technologies" sounds a bit weird to me. I like "uncharted territories of their potential applications", but it's... kind of hard to put into a sentence :D Mar 10, 2016 at 13:31
  • @AttilaTanyi You can follow the actual usage above which is more idiomatic using "uncharted territory". It is entirely up to you. Good luck.
    – user140086
    Mar 10, 2016 at 13:34

I suggest, firstly : future application(s) or potential

& also : improvement, fulfillment, performance, achievement, implementation, progress

  • Whilst i agree with the suggestions, future application(s) just does not have that buzzword Ooomph marketing usually tries to convey.
    – Sakatox
    Mar 10, 2016 at 12:04
  • I agree with @Sakatox, this says what I meant but I'm looking for a bit more expressive (or we could say poetic). "Potential" is one of the simple words that didn't come to my mind but now it's clear that it has to be in the expression. Mar 10, 2016 at 13:09

We've only seen/scratched the tip of the iceberg of their amazing potential.

tip of the iceberg


A massive body of floating ice that has broken away from a glacier or ice field. Most of an iceberg lies underwater, but because ice is not as dense as water, about one ninth of it remains above the surface.

(The American Heritage® Science Dictionary)


Only a hint or suggestion of a much larger or more complex issue or problem. This phrase alludes to the fact that the bulk of a floating iceberg is concealed beneath the water, leaving only a small portion, its tip, visible above.

(The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition)


  • Thanks! This is also quite idiomatic. Although this may also be too much to say if there isn't really more unused potential in the technology than what's already been leveraged, but great otherwise. Mar 10, 2016 at 13:43

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