24 August 2009

Predicting what mobile phones will do for us next

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Cambridge Design Partnership and Instrata, a Cambridge-based user experience specialist, recently teamed up to approach mobile communications innovation from the experience of the consumer.

More in particular, the team developed some ideas into new device and service concepts focussing on three key areas: the tactile experience, personalisation and practical enhancements.

Breathe is a phone that comes alive – it is responsive, tactile and highly personal. Mobiles go everywhere with us; they have become accessories; and they have the potential to offer enormous pleasure through their physical expression. Breathe is a concept that responds to the need to produce a more emotional experience. Breathe recognises and responds to friends calling, the music playing, new pictures, and people’s own touch. It is perfectly weighted and shaped to fit in the palm of our hand, with colour changes, ripple effects and vibrations bringing it to life. It responds to who we are and comes alive with everything we do.

Choice gives people options every time they take a phone out with them. They can take a larger handset, which has all the features packed in and is ready to go for a day at work. Or they can select a smaller handset, which they can pop into their top pocket for a trip to the shops or into a clutch bag on a night out. The Choice Sync Station keeps their handsets synchronized with contacts and data while providing simple services such as automated backup and recharge. All handsets stay charged with up to date phonebooks ready to go when you are.

A video call from a mobile is so difficult to make that many people never bother. Holding a phone out with the camera trained on your face while the caller at the other end does the same, is both tricky and uncomfortable. The SeeUs clamshell phone makes it easier by simply adding more stop positions to its hinge to allow the phone to act as a tripod for its cameras. It gives people the option to set the phone on a surface for shake-free imaging and an effortless call and offers an integrated handsfree kit.

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