Imagining Mobile Phones in 2015
Cell phones have evolved so much over the past couple of years that it's hard if not impossible to imagine what they'll be like in another decade. But recently, 26 design students from London's Central St Martins College of Art and Design decided to take a crack at it, designing competing prototypes for mobile devices people might be carrying in 2015.
The students considered functional as well as technical issues in their designs, and were meant to complement the user's lives and be as simple and unobtrusive as possible. Some designs incorporated phones into necklaces and rings, while others allowed callers to exchange aromas and light patterns. Still others explored new design metaphors beyond the typical "clamshell" or "candybar," taking advantage of ultrathin technology to fold like paper or a small notebook.
Said course director Ben Hughes, "It was an area [the students] were interested in and they were very happy to get involved. They looked at mobile phone technology and how it's going to evolve with what 4G and even 5G can offer in terms of bandwidth and memory. There were also cultural and socio-economic factors, how our lives are changing and [how] the mobile phone evolves to fit that."
The competition was sponsored by Nokia, and the student who produced the winning design earned an internship with the mobile phone maker. That student, Daniel Meyer, created a mobile phone that doubled as a digital tabletop picture frame -- perfect for the high-tech traveler seeking reminders of home.