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BusinessWeek Online: A Quantum Leap for Cell Phones

Onyx buttonless cell-phone designconceptBusinessWeek Online: A Quantum Leap for Cell Phones

BusinessWeek Online is reporting on new ideas in cell-phone design.

The cell-phone business is ready for some change, and it’s been a while since we had any real innovation in the field of cell-phone design. For instance my new Nokia 6070 is just a rip-off on the Sony Ericsson T and K designs, being labelled as a “timeless design” by Nokia.

The design concept shown in the picture (linked from BusinessWeek Online) is by Pilotfish and Synaptics, and it uses a gesture driven UI, eliminating the need for buttons (hmm…”able to recognise body-parts”). For more design concepts, BWO has a slide show.

To me it seems that nothing really innovating in cell-phone design has happened, since Nokia made the antenna “go poooff”.

I remember at CeBIT 2000, in the euphoria of the golden age of cell-phones and .com optimism, where Ericsson were show-casing some futuristic design concepts. I especially remember a cell phone concept, that had a folding keypad, it looked sort of like a two eliptical hinged dog-tags, that you could slide apart, that I’d buy. The only other thing I REALLY noticed at the Ericsson booth was a Japanesse guy taking LOTS of pictures.

Just about then the .com bubble burst, and the business went into serious consolidation mode, cranking out one boring design after another.

But now change is coming, cell-phones and gadgets will become fashion items, Vertu – Nokia’s luxury division, for instance, is reporting problems meeting demand for their “bling-bling” luxury phones.

iPod shuffle sports caseLast year I also had some ideas for designs for portable digital media players, e.g. embedding them into earings, I’d also like to see a transparent design, looking much like the “iPod shuffle sports casing” (picture linked from

I actually did an experiment, having a flash-memory chip encased into glass. Unfortunately it proved too heavy to use as an ear-ring, and the heat “fried” the electronics, but it could make a nice pendant, and I think it looked cool.

Cell-phone makers: you’re welcome to steal my ideas, “If you build it I’ll come”: (Skype-Hype and my dream device).

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