Above is a concept phone by Michael Laut
**This post relates to two others I wrote. One was on phone manufacturers using more interesting materials, beyond plastic. The other is about going beyond creative advertising, with creativity.
Here are four phones that, if designed, would generate a lot of buzz. I’m not saying they’d all sell, but they’d generate some PR for whatever company produced them, especially if they launched all of them within a short time span.
Phone 1: A circular phone that belongs in the next Star Trek movie. Make it so it fits perfectly in your hand, with a curve back that fits nice and snug into your palm. Make the OS feel futuristic. This would obviously be aimed towards young people.
Phone 2: An industrial phone. The entire phone would be brushed steel that can take a beating. Make the glass easily replaceable so a construction worker, landscaper, plumber, or engineer can replace their own broken screen. Make the standard wallpaper industrial. Make sure it comes with handy apps like the app for measuring things with your camera and an app for leveling things.
Phone 3: Make a phone for professionals. Give it a leather backing. Beef up the calendar app to sync with Outlook and out-do Outlook at the same time. Give it a time or geographic location at which to remind you, every morning, of your day’s schedule. Maybe it happens with your alarm, maybe as you walk from your car to the office. It might also be nice to make email a bit friendlier, maybe by letting you view your Outlook email in a Google conversation format.
Phone 4: A phone that sets a new standard for the term “touch phone.” This baby would recognize more gestures, tons more. For instance, a three finger swipe backwards might mean “go back.” From anywhere, in any app, a circular finger gesture would bring up your ___ (email?). Get really funky and make the back of the phone respond to certain gestures. Now you can close an app by squeezing. To squeeze, squeeze naturally with your thumb on the front and all the fingers on the back. Like on the iPad, four fingers to either side should switch apps. Draw a square and it brings up a text-box, with the “To:’ field auot-filled, suggesting the last person you texted but you can easily type in a new name.
Just a few ideas. They might sell like hot cakes but if not, they’d still generate buzz about whichever company made them. I think it’s really important to be the company where people are excited to hear about your product releases, because they know there’s going to be something new and funky. That’s a really special place to be in the market.