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Future(?) Design of Mobile Phones 162

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-ok-not-quite dept.
Sad Loser writes "The future of the mobile phone is here, or at least a bunch of Nokia-sponsored industrial design students' take on the problem. The BBC also has more pictures." Most of these designs are quite silly (a necklace with squeezable beads for an address book?) but at least amusing.
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Future(?) Design of Mobile Phones

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  • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:25AM (#15531577)
    If this is what the future holds, I think I need to get started with my curmudgeonly rantings about how great cell phones were in the past.
    • No kidding!

      It looks like only one or two of these phones were designed by anyone who understands a basic principal: form follows function.

      The real cellphone of the future? Maybe an earpiece with a single button to activate voice commands...
      • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:03AM (#15531790) Journal
        Please. I'm holding out for the artificial molar that allows perfect sound reproduction through bone conduction [wikipedia.org], and removes one of the last visual cues that distinguish me from a raving lunatic: a visible phone.

        I'll walk down the street talking to myself, and smacking myself in the face whenever I lose signal, and (this is the good bit) I'll never get panhandled again.
        • I want one that allows sound transmission using bone conduction in a way that allows the earpiece to be the size of a modern hearing aid. I keep waiting for bluetooth headphones to shrink in size so that it doesn't look like you have a huge, blue roach crawling up the side of your face, though that is apparently the "in" look for real estate agents these days.

          Heck, I'm okay with having the "real" phone in my pocket, and a low power link to the earpiece, I just want the earpiece to be unnoticable.
    • by MrSquirrel (976630) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:08AM (#15531827)
      Screw that, if this is what the future holds -- I'm going to enroll in whatever program they're in and design a cellphone that is also a baseball bat. That way, when future-people are talking on their annoying cellphone anal-beads or whatever, I can take out my cellphone and have the satisfaction of bludgeoning them to death.
    • That's true. Not a single one was just a simple damn phone that a.) works as a phone is supposed to, and b.) is solidly constructed to withstand the beating that a heavily used phone goes through.

      The cell phone industry is ripe for the taking for the 1st company that comes out with a cell phone that is simple and as easy to use (and indestructable) as a home phone.
      • Mate, these are design students. These are models are more about making people think about the future, than future products.

        They are competing for an internship at Nokia. I don't think they would get it if they hand in a Nokia 3110. It is about creating something wild, that fulfills a particular role.

        If you can't find a phone that is easy to use (Motorola C117, C139) - then maybe, just maybe it is you.
    • One of the biggest sellers I saw in a department store was a "gag" accessory: a bakelite handset you could plug in to your cell phone. Complete with curly cable. I kid you not.

      I think the newer trend in telecom devices will be towards devices with a slight heft to them. More rugged devices, ones that feel like they won't bust when you drop them or get caught in a rainstorm. People have a psychological tendency to equate dense and solid equipment with quality and durability, so I expect manufacturers to expl
    • I feel quite nostalgic for the days of phones styled after military field radios with car-battery sized fuel packs, when men were men and sheep were worried.
      Er...sorry, lost it there for a sec.
    • Future phone design that would work for me.

      Functions:

      1. Phone

      2. Calendar

      2. Contacts

      4. MP3 player

      5. Basic web service (movie times, make reservations, etc.)

      6. Decent battery life (i.e., 18 hours continuous use and then recharge)

      Form:

      Make it in the form of a standard belt with nearly invisible, and flexible/durable attachments. It has two small wireless headphones that I can use together for stereo or seperate for mono. These might be designed to look studs around the whole belt or something I

  • As usual (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:28AM (#15531593) Homepage
    As usual, most of these designs aren't even possible and won't be possible in the near future. What do they teach these design students anyway? Seems more like an art-college for the artistically challenged.
    • Re:As usual (Score:2, Funny)

      by markild (862998)
      Seems more like an art-college for the artistically challenged.
      That's why they make concept designs. So that we feel better about their regular designs.
    • There's not much of any usability to be seen here anyway.

      And here I thought that was among the most important aspects of design.
    • No different from any top supermodel fashion show. Those clothing wares aren't for public consumption, just for show to showcase what the designers can do.
    • Re:As usual (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are you saying "smell transmission" is impossible?!

      Just let me point out two things:
      1. Farting into your smell-transmitting phone while the opposite party is, say, in a room full of people would be INCREDIBLE
      2. The professor did it in Futurama with the "smelloscope," so clearly, it is rather possible.

  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:31AM (#15531609) Homepage Journal
    In elementary school, I was in the "gifted" class where they'd ocasionally have us do creative projects liek this instead of normal schoolwork. Most of the results of those were at about the same level of insanity as these. Mine in particular tended to go in more of a rocket-pack/robot motorcyle direction.

    When you're nine years old, your zany ideas earn you a spot on the fridge for your new drawing. When you're in college, I guess it earns you a gallery on BBC news.
  • I see (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother&optonline,net> on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:31AM (#15531615) Journal

    The winner of the competition is the Nokia 111 by Daniel Meyer, and this is where the New Age speak goes into overdrive. The phone looks - to our eye - like a candy bar with a hinge in the middle, but it is, apparently: "Inspired both by the advent of video calling and the traditional practice of carrying pictures of friends or family members with you. The handset is designed to sit as a picture frame wherever the user is, serving the dual purpose of communications device and a comforting familiar focal point; at home, at work or in a hotel while away on business."

    It's also a great way to carry your porn more portably or annoy everyone in your office with a photo montage of baby pictures.

    Forgive my neo-Ludditism, but why does a cell phone have to be more than a phone? I say this as the owner of a Motorola V360, an excellent phone that also happens to have an MP3 player built in, which is one of the more useful accessories a phone could conceivably have, and saved me the trouble of buying another thing to tote around. I have a camera for pictures, but I wouldn't feel the need to set the phone down and display those pictures. Let's not forget, battery life is not all that great and using your phone as a slideshow probably wouldn't help.

    Look, either build the über device that does everything or stop trying to load mobile phones down with too much gadgetry.

    • Re:I see (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:42AM (#15531658)

      Forgive my neo-Ludditism, but why does a cell phone have to be more than a phone?

      Because the big, bulky, annoying, expensive part of carrying electronic devices around is a combination of:

      • Screen
      • Keypad
      • Battery

      Why carry more than one of each of those around when you don't have to?

      • Why carry more than one of each of those around when you don't have to?

        On the one hand it makes sense, but on the other, isn't there some critical mass of things you can cram into a small package at this time? Battery technology being what it is, it seems the more you ask a device to do, the less it will actually be able to do. What's the point of having everything together if you're constantly tied to a power socket to run it all?

        And I've noted, that despite such things, I still see plenty of people

        • Re:I see (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:04AM (#15531796)

          isn't there some critical mass of things you can cram into a small package at this time?

          Phones have been getting smaller and smaller up until a couple of years ago, where they levelled off. I think that's more to do with the fact that you can't make phones any smaller without making the interface unusable rather than any space issue.

          Battery technology being what it is, it seems the more you ask a device to do, the less it will actually be able to do.

          Obviously battery life is important, but how many of these features are actually wasting power when they aren't in use? And if they are in use, then what are you saving the power for, if not to use the device?

          I think when a tool tries to do too much, it is in danger of not doing anything particularly well

          That may be common, but I don't think it's an intrinsic consequence of convergence. And even if separate devices are of a higher quality, two separate devices of high quality aren't necessarily better than a single device that is good enough.

          For example, I'm not going to carry a camera everywhere I go. I am going to carry my phone everywhere I go. I might be able to get higher quality photos from a digital camera, but that's of no use to me if I don't have the camera with me when I want to take a photo. Thus the camera phone is of more value than a separate phone and camera, even if the quality is lower. Sure, if I'm going somewhere where I expect to take photos, I'd bring a camera, but that's of absolutely no use to me when most of my photos are taken on the spur of the moment.

          • Why is the average standby time of my now ancient t39m so much better then that of my newer k300i, despite the later having a higher capacity and newer battery?

            To add some reasons for not wanting to combine all kinds of devices into one:

            • No phone smaller then a pda has a big enough screen for doing any serious reading (of web content, ebooks and such), let alone for using any slightly complicated software, and I find a pda sized phone uncomfortable for calling..
            • Why should the fact that I spent the last
            • Why is the average standby time of my now ancient t39m so much better then that of my newer k300i, despite the later having a higher capacity and newer battery?

              You'd have to ask the makers. It could be for any number of reasons unrelated to convergence. If you wish to claim that convergence was the cause, please say so and offer evidence beyond idle speculation.

              Why should the fact that I spent the last 4 hours reading an ebook/listening to mp3s waste the standby time of my phone?

              If you have

              • You'd have to ask the makers. It could be for any number of reasons unrelated to convergence. If you wish to claim that convergence was the cause, please say so and offer evidence beyond idle speculation.

                Convergence results in color screen which also needs backlit in many cases, more powerfull cpu, more memory. Yes, all those things use more energy then needed even when not using any of the features resulting from convergence.

                If you have these things in separate devices, then you are carrying three screens,
        • A great gadget is the Sony Ericsson line of walkman phones (I have in particular the W800i, there are newer models). It's a great phone in and of itself, and as an MP3 player, well, I realized that I wasn't using my recently purchased Nano at all since I got it, so I sold that one and got a 4 gig MemoryStick for the phone, and I'm set. Another bonus advantage: the two megapixel camera is pretty good for quick snaps of random things (and a great replacement for a photocopier at libraries), and it's LED flash
          • I call bullshit - you sold your nano because you wanted to use your phone? What, was the Nanao to heavy for you to carry around? Who are you kidding. It is a pain in the ass to use a phone as an mp3 player (note, i didn't say it was impossible, just not easy), and an ipod is almost the perfect mpy player are far as usability goes.
            • You fail to realize that the Walkman Sony Ericsson phones are designed as an MP3 player and a phone, so they have pretty good usability as an MP3 player, and come with MemorySticks (mine came with 512), damned good headphones (that are better than the ones that come with iPods), drag&drop software (it seems to work with Media Player 11 by default though) and buttons dedicated to the MP3 player. How is it bullshit? I realized that I wasn't carrying around my Nano because my phone was doing it's functiona
            • I did the same thing. Realised that I was using my phone more and more for tasks other than voice calling and texting, so I ditched the iPod Nano and bought a 2GB memory card and decent pair of headphones and saved myself the hassle of carrying more than one device.

              Using any kind of third party MP3 player is actually harder in this respect - there's the hassle of pausing the music playback and removing the headphones before you can actually answer a call.
        • I think when a tool tries to do too much, it is in danger of not doing anything particularly well, especially where there are design tradeoffs that have to made to integrate things.

          That is true of a mechanical mechanism. I feel the opposite is true of software. If the hardware on a phone is capable of running just about any piece of software then the more things it tries to do the better it does all of them.
      • Because I've yet to see a phone/whatever combo that was as good as seperate phone and whatevers.
        • To take this a step further... why can't the phone just be a phone sans the screen, key pad, speakers and then be interoperable with a screen, a key pad, speakers. Which in turn interoperate with an mp3 player. Both the phone and the mp3 player interoperate with a hard drive. Where all six items (screen, keypad, speakers, hd, phone, mp3 player) are all connected in a "personal network." You could add something for playing games, or a camera (or just about anything). Wasn't this the original promise of b
          • You can do all that already. There are "personal" file servers for bluetooth and wifi you can carry about. Media players have settings for microdrives where they cache each song (saves battery). You can get bluetooth stereo headphones. I'm sure there are cameras with BT, I've seen ones (Canon?) that had WiFi.

            The only difference from your idea is that you need a phone PDA at the centre of it. That has your screen and keyboard (touch-screen) in one item, and you can also use it as a standalone phone without

    • Forgive my neo-Ludditism, but why does a cell phone have to be more than a phone?

      Okay, we should agree that the design-speak in saying "[T]he handset is designed to sit as a picture frame wherever the user is, serving the dual purpose of communications device and a comforting familiar focal point; at home, at work or in a hotel while away on business" is quite thick. But some part of the concept here is that the cell phone can be in some way "less" than a phone in that you can integrate it comfortably i

    • by mpe (36238)
      Forgive my neo-Ludditism, but why does a cell phone have to be more than a phone? I say this as the owner of a Motorola V360, an excellent phone that also happens to have an MP3 player built in, which is one of the more useful accessories a phone could conceivably have, and saved me the trouble of buying another thing to tote around. I have a camera for pictures, but I wouldn't feel the need to set the phone down and display those pictures.

      Also if phones are going to have GPS built in having the thing dis
  • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:32AM (#15531617)
    I'm reminded of a cartoon that came up on my New Yorker daily desk calendar last week (the cartoon now has a permanent spot on my fridge):

    Man talking to a clerk in a cell phone store: "Do you have one of those phones you can talk to people on?"
    • Answer: No, but if you get one of this series, you can download and downgrade the firmware which enables the talking mode again, but normally it`s obsolete.
  • ...I don't really want to smell my caller's environment. At least not for most of my callers.

    I applaud their creativity. But I still want a cell phone that works > 99% of the time as a freakin' phone.
    • Some ideas are sorta like vampires are described, for example, by Terry Pratchett. You may think you've beheaded one, stuffed full of garlick, and dragged out into the sun, but a few years later someone drops a drop of blood in the right place and there you have the old vampire back again. Some bad ideas can be like that.

      And smell reproduction has been one of those bad ideas that just won't stay dead. It's been popping up again and again, as computer peripheral, phone peripheral, etc. Just when you think yo
  • Nothing else to do (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nicodemus101 (960204) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:38AM (#15531642)
    These are the same people that want to bring fashion to space suits right?

    Fashion in Space [slashdot.org]

    I mean a phone that picks up smells? What for? What could possibly be the use for that? I don't know about you but I would rather not have the person on the other end know I just let one go after too much chilli.

    A phone that has beads to call people. Looking at my cellphone I have over a 100 contacts for business and personal. That's an awful lot of beads... might be the new 2015 style bling!
  • it's not as horrific as I thought I'd be! Granted most of them are technically infeasible at least for mass production, would be annoying to use or are just pointless, but I was expecting a lot worse.

    Certainly some of them look less retarded than some of the things nokia come up with.
  • The aim was a user friendly product that gave an emotional relationship, like a friend

    People shouldn't have emotional relationships with phones. A phone is just a tool, nothing more. There isn't enough love in the world to waste it on consumer electronics.

    • Actually, the relationship one has with one's phone is much more subtile than that.

      There have been a number of studies [aber.ac.uk] that seem to point to the way a telephone user will express one's self as if though the person they are talking with on the telephone was actually there. Phone conversations with intimate associates tend to contain body languages that express that relationship, while a telephone conversation with one's boss will result, generally, in postures that reflect that relationship.

      Additionally th

    • Great quote! It's an interesting viewpoint that is going to really come to the fore when robotics is able to create a convincing human facsimile...

      Check out my film trailer of "Eve" for a possible future scenario to do with just this concept.
  • reception in my area. Just give me a mobile phone that works in my area. I have a camera I have a pda. I have internet devices (with screens big enough to be useful). I don't need a device that when it breaks everything else goes too.
     
  • 2015? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tygerstripes (832644)
    TFA suggests that these phone designs are concepts that may be workable by 2015.

    2015? As in, nearly ten years from now? Nobody seriously expects phones to be recognisably unique devices by then, do they? It's nigh-on impossible to buy a mobile phone these days that does not incorporate, to a significant degree, functions for which there are already devices available.

    It's widely accepted in the industry that within 10 years', when cameras, mp3 players and all sorts of other gadgets are sufficiently advan

    • Re:2015? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560)
      2015? [bttf.com] We'll all be too busy with our flying cars, fusion generators, dehydrated pizza, levitating skateboards, and holographic sharks to worry about what our phones do.
    • 2015? As in, nearly ten years from now? Nobody seriously expects phones to be recognisably unique devices by then, do they? It's nigh-on impossible to buy a mobile phone these days that does not incorporate, to a significant degree, functions for which there are already devices available.

      To be fair... Semi-Strong Ai will be theoretically possible on $2,000 peice of hardware by then if Moore's law holds true.

      And I use the term theoretically in a very vague kind of way... Personally I'd hope that my cell phon
  • I wish... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:48AM (#15531698) Homepage Journal
    I wish the future of cell phones was more like the past, just smaller. You know, a phone that's just a phone but fits in my pocket comfortably. Why do they make me feel like I'm asking for too much?
    • I wish the future of cell phones was more like the past, just smaller. You know, a phone that's just a phone but fits in my pocket comfortably. Why do they make me feel like I'm asking for too much?

      What about exploiting short-range wireless tech like blue tooth? Each device has its own storage. If you connect it to a storage unit then your phone can store your address book on it. Connect a camera to the storage device & your phone and you can store it on there or ship it to your phone to send to some

    • There are plenty of phones like that around at the moment.
    • I wish the future of cell phones was more like the past, just smaller. You know, a phone that's just a phone but fits in my pocket comfortably.

      Yeah. I want to see Zoolander edition phones. When are we gonna get those?
  • personally... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Churla (936633) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:52AM (#15531729)
    Things I would want from a mobile device:

    1) Phone
    2) PDA
    3) MP3 player
    4) Camera

    Things I DON'T want in a mobile device:

    1) Smells
    2) Life philosophy
    3) Being locked into one service provider

    It's funny how how 5 years ago my want list would have made me a cuttng edge geek, and now it makes me a luddite.
  • If you're so inclined (I'm not)...you could use the beads for.......all sorts of alternative uses?
  • by planetmn (724378) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:53AM (#15531734)
    Why is everybody so negative about the designs. Guess what, designers create based on form. Engineers create based on function. An end product is a meld of the two. If the designers only designed a cell phone that was the same shape and form as an old rotary phone, the engineers would design the electronics to go inside, and we'd all have phones bigger than the old bag phones of the 80s.

    It is a designers job to create something that appeals to the market in terms of form. It is the engineers job to create something that works. And together with many others they create a product that has parts of both worlds.

    Also, for everybody talking about "well, I just want a phone that gets good reception" that's a network design problem for the most part, not a device problem.

    -dave
    • Why is everybody so negative about the designs?
      ...
      It is a designers job to create something that appeals to the market in terms of form.

      I think you answered your own question. Obviously these designers have failed to create something that appeals to this market in terms of form.
      • This market being a bunch of grumpy old geeks who would rather be at home playing wow?

        These designs are a competition for a Nokia Internship. You have to design something different, something that stands out. You aren't going to win by handing in a Nokia 3110. YOu creat something which makes people think about the future, and maybe fulfils one task well.
    • by Jott42 (702470) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:29AM (#15531978)
      An industrial designer makes forms that follows function and is within the possibilities of engineering. The design you are talking about is the same as art and SciFi-movie prop design. The things presented in the article are scifi-designs, which have very little base in reality... (i.e no account is taken for batteries or antennas.) And a phone with a larger antenna will have better reception, it follows from Maxwells equations. But the current market does rather accept so-so reception than an antenna. But you are right in part: The lower antenna performance can to some degree be compensated with a better network.
    • THANK YOU!

      I think there are too many engineers, not enough designers here on /. to get this point. The curriculum for Industrial Design students is based in Fine Arts. They know next to nothing about how or why things work. They make pretty drawings and clay models. They might do some market research to figure out what people want or how people use/misuse similar devices today. But that's about it. Once they're done their job figuring out how it looks and what it should do they pass it off to an engineer
      • But concept cars still work. They have four wheels and an engine. They are possible to drive. They are prime examples of industrial design. The examples in the article where just "artistic design", which can not ever work, at least not if implemented using the air interfaces that we usually attribute to the concept of "cell phones". They are more like what you get when artist try to make houses: they have a tendency to forget about some boring stuff like rain and wind...
        • The cell phones from TFA were designed by STUDENTS... the concept cars that "work" are designed by PROFESSIONALS. There are loads and loads of student designed concept cars that are just as uselessly artsy as these phones. Sure there are some student based car designs that might actually work. But there are also some student designed cell-phones that might actually work too.
        • The examples in the article where just "artistic design", which can not ever work, at least not if implemented using the air interfaces that we usually attribute to the concept of "cell phones". They are more like what you get when artist try to make houses: they have a tendency to forget about some boring stuff like rain and wind...

          Some actual architects do actually appear to fall in to this catagory. Especially if they are several steps removed from the people who will be expected to actually use the bu
    • I have nothing against pretty designs, and one reason I like some Apple hardware etc, but I think it's important that you can use the stuff, and many of the pictures linked to here didn't seem to tell me you could. Creating visually appealing stuff only gets a good designer halfway, like creating something that works only gets an engineer halfway. Creating something you can use though, and something that works well and reliably, now that are different matters.
      • Yes, and if the students had the time and money that is spent in the product design cycle to interact with engineers, get feedback from marketing, etc. I'm sure you'd see the design change. What this example was, was the first iteration of the artists design.

        Do you honestly think the first design iteration of the iPod (or MacBook Pro, etc.) was exactly like it is now? Absolutely not.

        -dave
  • Phones need to be smaller, like the size of an earring or something that you have constantly available, and which is speech activated. Think the "call bob" features they have in some phones now. Camera features, displays, etc., belong more naturally in smart spectacles. More involved interaction like text input is a tougher cat to skin, but then hey IANAID (I Am Not An Industrial Designer).
  • by rdmiller3 (29465) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:55AM (#15531749) Journal

    My present mobile flips open, lets me talk speakerphone style holding it out in front of me, and I can contact whomever I want by saying their name or saying the phone number... very much like the communicators in the original Star Trek series. (I wish I could reprogram it to chirp like a 'communicator' instead of its "Say a command.")

    We've seen those Bluetooth earphone-mic sets. What about a Bluetooth speakerphone badge? The main phone would be somewhere else on your person, but the little badge could be worn closer to your head and have a simple touch-to-activate/hangup interface like in the "Next Generation" Star Trek series.

    • What about a Bluetooth speakerphone badge?
       
      Because most of us are trying to discourage this star trek stereotype, not reinforce it.

      Everytime there is a story about Mobile phones, there are the people who want a simple phone but are incapable of asking for one a phone shop, and there are the ones who want a trek communicator. Bravo.
  • Nokia has a good record on trying out new designs (think of the iconic 7100 series and the 8850) and some of these are rather good designs. But ion the long term, five or ten years down the line the bulk of phones are unlikely to be handsets. If the latest 'phone on a chip' designs follow Moore's guidelines (no it's not a law) then we'll be able to integrate phones into watches, earpieces and there's even a design for an earring. Difficult to leave those in the back of a taxi.
  • Silly? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NetDanzr (619387) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:58AM (#15531760)
    The beads are not silly; they are the marketer's dream! Imagine the recurring revenue the phone operators get from selling more of the beads for people who gave them all away. A phone company could also lock customers in, with using a proprietary format for these beads. It could also serve as a differentiator for companies. I wish I could come up with something like those beads, patent the idea and then develop it further for a large wireless company.
    • A good idea for giving a phone to your kids. Only let them call the people you want them to call. ANd everynight you can inspect their necklace, to see if there are any neer'do'wells attached.
    • Re:Silly? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sethg (15187)
      I can imagine the necklace-phone being a real hit with eleven-to-sixteen-year-old girls. They could compete for status based on how many beads they had on their necklaces, who they had distributed their own beads to, having the beads from the popular kids, not having beads from unpopular kids, etc.
  • Here we go again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:05AM (#15531799)
    Most people will say they only want a phone to call. However there are plenty of people out there that want more then just to call.

    Imagine you are a system administrator. Won't it be nice to be able to ssh into your server the moment you get a warning? That way you could perhaps solve the problem faster, from where you are, without the need to actually go to your portable. Unless you a such a geek that you don't have any moment you walk around without a portable (and network access)

    Some people like to have the camera. Some people like to send messages. So what you will get is a combination and variety of systems where you can select what you want.

    Not everybody has the same Linux distro, or the same services running on his system, so why should this be any different with your cellphone. Buy what you need. Do not buy what others tell you what you need.

    I use SUSE and I don't run KDE or Gnome. If you don't like the camera on your phone and yet you do like all the rest, then don't take pictures. Do you really want just to phone? Then just buy the cheapest (second hand) phone you can find. They are still available and can be bought.

    Just as with Linux, it is all a matter of choice. Because YOU don't want it does not mean it is a bad choice.
    • Re:Here we go again (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dbIII (701233)

      Won't it be nice to be able to ssh into your server the moment you get a warning?

      Nokia 6800 - they made thousands on the expectation that people would want a qwerty keyboard to send text messages, so I got one dirt cheap and use it for ssh. Other manufacturers are also trying the same thing and may hit the same pitfall, so you may be able to get something newer that can do the same thing dirt cheap.

      I thought the most useless feature on the thing was the radio until I took a bus to work a few times and use

    • Imagine you are a system administrator. Won't it be nice to be able to ssh into your server the moment you get a warning?

      Not until the cellphones are convincingly secure. The current ones are laughably broken (attack vectors via bluetooth and sometimes even SMS for people to take over your phone and capture your ssh key). This is unlikely to happen while the firmware is proprietary crud, and the firmware won't stop being proprietary crud until the networks stop using it as a method for controlling you (most
    • Sure... but do you really need to smell the server you SSH'd into? Do you really need to build a "relationship" with your phone in order to SSH?
  • ... and the odd SPV phone, have become increasingly bad at actually making a call.

    My old Nokia 3330 was a lot faster to hang up a call and lock the keypad. I've waited 20 seconds with no apps running in the background on the 6680 for the thing to accept any input after ending a call.

    There is Salling Clicker though which kinda makes up for it - one of the best phone advancements I've used in a while (no-one mention 3G please).
  • it's always the same, cram as much crap as possible into every phone

    i want a phone with:
    * good sound quality
    * sms capability
    * alarm
    * contacts
    * list of incoming and outgoing calls
    * a nice, clean and simple interface

    and yeah, good battery time as well

    and as a clip-on, or the deluxe-version, one could add/buy something that allows one to connect to the laptop to the net

    is that so hard to do?
    it SHOULD be cheap as f'ck to develop nowadays, just double the price and sell it to me and i'll thank you for a loooong
  • Bullshit, the phone of the future will look pretty much like the phone of today, the PDA all-screen look will become more popular as better and more tactile touchscreens are developed, there will be no other major design change.
  • Oh come on (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zerosix (962914)
    People spend so much time trying to develop tech for phones they don't stop to see if they should do it and ask people what they want. Why the hell would anyone want to put a chess set on thier phone? I mean seriously! Any why do people have to keep cramming more and more crap into cell phones? When I upgraded my phone last time, they kept trying to cell(haha) me one with an MP3 player. Also, not one of those phones looked like something I would even want to use. Lets pack more and more shit into phones and
  • I once saw an interview with Prince Charles (about 5 years ago). He was congratulating two students on an award they received for a new design for a mobile phone. The conversation when like this...

    Prince Charles [While admiring the half brick sized phone in his hands] "Ahhem, it's really amazing how small you can make these things"..."but what's to stop you maing them even smaller?"
    Designer [While thinking what a dumb ass question that was]: "Well sir, the distance between your mouth and your ear"

    Wi
  • Nokia just LOVES designing all kinds of concept phones.

    Why don't they put their money where their fucking mouth is and release some ACTUAL good phones? Or at least bring some of their nice european phones to North America.

    I'm a fan of Nokia, but what's been available here for the past few years has been absolutely shameful.
  • by karlandtanya (601084) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:25AM (#15532446)
    Is that so freakin' hard?

    It seems to me that all the other "features" being added daily are not for the benefit of the owner of the phone. They're yet more things to charge the owner for using.

    Sell connectivity like a commodity.
    I don't want to see "no network" when I'm looking directly at a freakin' cell tower.
    I don't give a shit who owns the tower. Share your infrastructure.
    The same companies that sell the mobile comms already do this with their hard lines, so don't say it's not feasible.
    Somebody's already claiming to do this (verizon?). The rest of you idiots, take a lesson.

    Build a durable phone with a decent battery.
    It doesn't have to be so tiny or so cool I can wear it on my chest and slap it when I want to talk to the Enterprise.
    It just has to make and receive calls. That's it.
    Make it out of the stuff that Ma Bell used to make the rental phones out of. It'll never break.

    Once you figure out the basic infrastructure and handhelds required for TALKING ON THE FREAKING PHONE, you can worry about selling me extraneous bullshit that I don't want.

    • You said it! I've got me one of those tough little Motorola phones built to military specs. So far it has survived falling down the stairs, a stampede of bison, stopping a bullet (twice) and phone calls from my mother in law. Well, OK, none of those things happened (and I'm not married), but you get my point.

      I have freinds who always go on like "Oh, my phone has games".

      "When do you play them," asks I.

      "Oh, I never do," says they, "But it's cool."

      :-\

    • I second this! Why the hell does my phone need to support smell?? What type of insecure individual needs to build a relationship with their phone?

      I hated every one of these phones for several reason: Stupid technology (smell), Childish throwbacks (care-bears/pretty pony necklace), Stupid design premise (relationship/feelings with an inanimate object).

      Where is the damn phone design that includes: Long battery life, excellent reception, low-cost/high-bandwidth capabilities? Durable/Rugged? Good coverage?

    • > handhelds required for TALKING ON THE FREAKING PHONE

      Guess what, the phones already do that and have done for ages. It Just Works(tm) pretty much all over the world, except in the US. Go shout at the your braindead network operators and let the rest of us, with more-or-less 100% cell coverage and functional roaming, enjoy the advanced phones.

      BTW, I live in Norway. There are 4.6 million people living here, about 1 million of them around Oslo and the rest pretty thinly spread out. Go look at a map of Norw
  • by ursabear (818651) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @11:27AM (#15532466) Homepage Journal
    I think the designs are interesting. The idea behind a concept is to try to re-think things, or to improve things. Concept art and concept designs are all about stimulating ideas. Once in a while, a good idea comes along, and is actually implemented. Many things are assigned the round file of the past.

    Getting people to think about cell phones and their future is the intent of the design work - the intent is not necessarily to produce viable phones, just ideas.

    I think it is not easy to come up with refreshing and original ideas. It seems easy to criticize the ideas of others - but try to look at it from another angle: What would your design be?
    • I'm all for abandoning convention and coming up with an original approach. But that's not what I see here.

      I see a bunch of people in a hazy room taking hits off a joint and saying, "Dude...what if we made it with...beads?

      These are solutions looking for problems. Mobile phones are real devices that people have real problems with. Bad reception, poor screen readability, slow response time, small buttons, poor durability. But I see nothing here that addresses those issues.

      "...no, no, no, man...it really needs
  • You always see pictures of concept cars that look totally impractical. This is the same thing except that it is phones. Or like when Intel had a bunch of "concept computer cases" to show that PCs could look as nice as an iMac (this was right after the original iMac came out). The computers looked completely ridiculous and none of them were ever actually made.
  • crazy cell phones (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sciencecneisc (980820)
    more important is Apple. there's the RAZR iTunes phone but what about Apple? MacRumors.com has a page 2 link about a patent that Apple may have issued on an iPod video/iChat AV/cell phone. how will it get battery life? the batteries will shape the device.
  • The real future of mobile phones can be found here [nttdocomo.co.jp] and here [vodafone.jp].

    I think this one actually has more features than my HTPC... http://www.vodafone.jp/english/products/model_3G/v 905sh/index.html [vodafone.jp]

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