Traditionally, phased-array antenna systems have been exclusively used in radar systems. The development of these antennas has gained much momentum by the availability of integrated microwave components. Their flexibility and performance is reason to expect a much wider application in the coming years. After a brief introduction of phased-array antennas and their advantages, a nLtmber of novel developments, such as conformity and optical beam forming, will be discussed in this paper. The perspective of these antennas will be illustrated by a number of examples, both from current applications as well as from future applications.