Concept phones

Here are some phones that dare to differ, add zing, up the comfort quotient-and may even be in the market soon. The prices are on hold, but the concepts are up for appraisal, says Brinda Vasudevan.

Brinda Vasudevan        Print Edition: March 5, 2009

Nokia Morph

Roll it, stretch it, fold it… It seems more like modelling clay than a phone. But the Morph is a product of nanoscience, which allows the phone to be completely transparent and to actually clean itself. The built-in solar absorption functions mean that the phone can also charge itself. The integrated sensors let users learn more about their immediate environment. Though there's no word on whether the technology is at a stage where it can go into mass production, you can see the phone at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

W508 Walkman

This phone has moved from the drawing board and is is expected to be launched by mid-2009. It's an HSDPA clamshell phone, with some great music features-Shake Control, SensMe and Gesture Control-as well as TrackID music recognition. Shake Control lets you change volume or track simply by giving the phone a quick shake. With Gesture Control, a swipe of your hand mutes the incoming calls or puts the alarm clock on snooze without you having to touch the phone.

Samsung Finger Touching Hand Phone

Here's a twist to the virtual keyboard concept. This phone, showcased at a design contest by Samsung, is like a bracelet and projects the keypad to your fingers. But there's no word on whether this will make it to the factory floor.

LG Watch Phone

Officially, it's called the LG GD910, and has been under wraps for more than a year. A model was displayed last year, but only recently has a working prototype been demonstrated. Chances are that this phone will make it to the shops soon. Besides the usual features, and the fact that it can be worn like a watch, it has touchscreen, Bluetooth, music player, voice recognition and textto-speech (so it can read out text messages). With so much good news, there has to be a cloud, right? There is. The phone will be available only for the European networks.

Motorola Renew W233

Yes, it's an entry-level phone. So what is the 'concept', you might ask. It's one of the greenest phones made so far. All the plastic parts are designed from recycled water bottles. Besides, the Renew uses 22% less packaging than the other phones. This is made from recycled paper and the ink used in the manual is soya-based. Green is not just external. Motorola says the phone will also use less energy-and is promising a talk time of nine hours.

Asus Eee

Asus has officially announced that it plans to launch its Eee phone this year, but nobody's sure what it will look like. What's known is that the phone will run on the Android software platform and that it could function as a universal remote control for a digital home. That could tag on oodles of convenience for the user. Oh, and it's expected to be affordable. So we don't have to look at a Rs 40,000 price tag for the state-of-the-art phone. We hope.

Nokia BMW

One more gorgeous phone that might actually make it to the shelves in the foreseeable future. The Nokia BMW comes with a push-to-open mechanism to make the display rotate 90 degrees, effectively turning the device into a handycam. Apart from video, the phone also features GPS. So, perhaps, you will never get lost in your BMW.

Pomegranate

Ok, it's not really a phone. The concept is outrageously alluring, but it's not being brought to life in any design shop. Yet. Pomegranate is a part of an advertisement campaign to lure tourists to Nova Scotia. But this is what all mobile phones want to grow up to be: a phone, MP3 player, GPS system, browser, global voice translator, video player, movie projector, coffee brewer, razor, harmonica… Try out the virtual version at www.pomegranatephone.com.

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