No wonder the smart-phone business is so tough. Every new design seems to simply be yet another take on a 3.5 to 5 inch screen. But what if a smart-phone could expand to replace all four screens (phone, tablet, PC, TV) in your house? Or, what if we simply eliminated the screen entirely with a 3D hologram phone that provides an Xbox Kinect experience in a small puck? (note: if you just want to see the phone…scroll down)
We asked the eYeka community of co-creators to imagine not what features the iPhone 5 or next Android phone might have, but what a true, next generation phone might look like. One that will make today’s phones looking like yesterday’s rotary phones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_dial – for all you youngsters).
The best designs show the creativity of a similar paradigm shift in product design that the iPhone took from the Blackberry-type qwerty designs.
“The Round Phone” by j-bouille
The crowd favourite is a small round item that fits into your pocket, but projects any number of functions with which you can interact. User j-bouille imagined a round smartphone that contains a camera, a projector and is able to connect to a wide range of objects. Take it into a shower and you will know the temperature of water. Connect it to a fridge and you will know what food you are missing. This is a phone for the future that connects to the “internet of things”. It adapts with what it touches and becomes simply a part of our everyday life.
“The Flexphone” by iKev
We also loved the “Flexphone” by iKev who created a new take on e-paper. Instead of simply creating a rollup phone, it uses flexible OLED technology to easily turn a phone into a gaming device, tablet PC, or full fledged media-player. Flipping photos from one screen to another, shifting form-factors to easily morph into whatever device you need it to be.
Ford was quoted once in saying “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said: ‘faster horses’ “. And professional designers often say that no disruptive innovation can’t come from consumers. Well, j-bouille and iKev may well be proving them wrong.