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Futuristic Nokia Concepts Reviewed

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the shiny-toys dept.

Communications 100

nitinah writes "Nokia design concepts is an ongoing initiative from the Finnish communications giant that invites designers around the world to create breakthrough cellphone designs. Phonemag has coverage of this year's entries, which includes the Aki, a wrist wrap device for programmed self expression that tunes its behavior and outgoing/incoming communications based on the moods and gestures of the user, and allows 'talking' without speaking, just by gesture. Another design is the Acibo, which features a mini buddy device that has an entirely voice driven all-in-one personal communicator which can be charged by bio-energy. More featured concepts include a wearable, shock proof and waterproof device, the SURV1, a necklace based communicator called the Global Nomad , and a complete communication device called the Colores, with virtual storage to access all your personal information on the go."

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100 comments

well, let's just do the future, ignore the present (1, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749014)

Oh please, oh please, stop making futuristic cell phones. How about some today phones. Phones that work. Phones that sound good. Phones that have decent battery life.

Last time I looked at cell phones, the only ones on display at the kiosk were camera phones. I asked to look at just a plane old cell phone. She asked why I would want a phone that couldn't take pictures. Hwah?

Let's see, what is Nokia considering:

  • the Aki, a wrist strap device for programmed self expression? Hell most people aren't able to self express anyway, let alone thinking some wrist device is going to do this. An electronic and more expensive twenty-first century mood ring (for those of you who are old enough to remember).
  • the Acibo?, voice driven?, bio-energy rechargeable? Hwah? Don't know what bio-energy rechargeable means. I'm also not wild about the idea of yet another device to which people can talk and get increasingly frustrated when it calls "Bob" instead of "Mom". Nope.
  • the wearable shockproof SURV1. Huh, shockproof wearable electronics? They'd better be. Interesting looking, old looking in a year, which of course is what they want.
  • a necklace base communicator, the Global Nomad? Cute name. Ugly device. They describe it as the necklace for your geeky girlfriend. For those geeks I know who do have a girlfriend, even they won't wear this device. Nor, I'm guessing would any guys. Next!
  • the Colores. Apparently this does everything and holdseverything. I just don't think there's a need for people to be this chock full of data, nor to be this transcendentally connected to the universe. But, I could be wrong.

Maybe I'm too Unix "old school". I like small devices each of which do their thing well, and integrate nicely with other things when it makes sense. In the above "future", it mostly doesn't.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for cell phone technology to work correctly. Can you hear me now?

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (3, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749064)

In this case, I think Nokia need it. They have had the same lead designer for ten years or so; which might explain why their phones all look so similar too.

Anyhow - fresh blood and ideas are always welcome. Think Appple, they do have some wacko ideas coming out regularly. Who else would have suggested an iPod, or those ****ugly iMac? Nokia need som more weird things too, after a decade of mobile traditionalism.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749092)

For those geeks I know who do have a girlfriend, even they won't wear this device.

Yes, but their girlfriends might.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (5, Interesting)

Jeffv323 (317436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749097)

Maybe you are no longer the target market for cell phone companies. At any rate, these things in the article are called prototypes, and they are absolutely necessary when you want compete in the market for gadgets that do more and more things every day. Nobody knows what kids will want tomorrow. But if you keep a fresh buffet of shiny new things for them to pick from, you are sure to keep their attention.

As for your complaints of the current phones on the market, "Phones that work. Phones that sound good. Phones that have decent battery life." From what I understand and have seen, nearly every phone in the store has those attributes. I myself have a brand new phone that I picked up about a month ago. It is a phone that you would not want. Two high resolution color displays, mp3 player with stereo speakers, 1 megapixel video / still camera.

"It works. " Check.

"It sounds good." Well, I have had no problem hearing people. I have taken it to a bowling alley, and people I talked to did not hear the ambient noise in the background. The speakerphone is also very clear and loud, and surprisingly lacks the echo that seems to be prevalent on most landline phones. I was impressed.

"It has a decent battery life." I use about 500 minutes a month. I have gone as long as 36 hours without plugging it in and making average amounts of calls throughout my two days. Also, I was testing the phone when I first got it. I watched a little over an hour's worth of video, listened to music for about an hour, and of course made some phone calls (didn't take note of how many) but in the end the battery was showing half full. Not exactly scientific, but batteries and power management are getting good across the board.

So, my recommendation is to buy the phone that you hate the least, and in a week you will be used to it. There you go.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (4, Funny)

Trillan (597339) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749205)

I tried that. I found after a week, I just hated it more than I had hated the other options.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (2, Informative)

znu (31198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749393)

Basic things like not randomly dropping calls are not solved problems. Most people blame the network. I live in Manhattan, though, which judging by both the carrier's maps an my own personal experience, has essentially perfect cellular coverage. If you are outside, you will have a strong signal. So, around here, when a call drops, it's not the network's fault.

Once that variable gets eliminated, it becomes very, very obvious that some phones do much better than others for reliability and reception. In particular, although there are differences between models, in general Nokia seems to do quite a lot better than Motorola and Sony Ericsson. That's the major reason I keep buying their phones even though they're ugly.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

rugger (61955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749712)

36 hours .... that nothing.

My nokia 1100 easily lasts a week on standby, with occasional use, between recharges.

That is decent battery life .... 36 hours is not something you would brag about.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749110)

concepts are like fashion crap you seen on catwalks, experiments. if I wanted a phone that didn't do anything else than make calls and get sms's, I'd still use my old 3110 - which works perfectly for making calls. the 3110 doesn't double as a mp3 player though, it doesn't take pictures(I don't carry my 'real' digital camera everywhere), it doesn't let me get into irc, it doesn't let me ssh, it doesn't let me read news for practically free(sms ordering news is just damn expensive). hell, the 3110 doesn't let me read slashdot while in a train.

anyways, even nokia makes still low-end phones that have intentionally cut features, like 1110, if you want to pay practically the same you would for a j2me phone with a color screen..

put it this way: why would you as a _geek_ want to pay the same for a device that only does one thing as you would for a device that has flexibility to do a lot of things - if you wish - and it still does the phone calls good. call quality in a well built network has been excellent since gsm came(first gsm network was launched in 1991), if your network is shit then it doesn't really help what the phone is. also if your operator ties it's plans to phones you don't like then it's your operators fault, not the phone manufacturers who just manufacture what is bought from them..

switch operators if your mobile doesn't work as it should and you know it's not borked.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (2, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749116)

The best part is that they're continuing to add functionality to these phones when the existing functionality already doesn't work very well at all. My boss has one of those PDA-cell phone combos, and the thing spontaneously reboots itself for no particular reason at least twice a day.

He recently discovered that he can make it crash at will simply by checking his email on his desktop machine at the same time the phone is attempting to check his email. I mean honestly, what the fuck is up with that?

I understand the desire to push the technological envelope, but you can't continue to add new features by sacrificing reliability. Oh wait, I guess Microsoft proved that that kind of business model could make you billions of dollars, so maybe you can.

I've been in the software development industry for 10 years, and this continues to be a huge problem. Management pushes for more and more functionality without ever allowing adequate time to make sure the functionality you're adding actually works worth a damn. The result is that you get 500 features in one device, and if you're lucky 2 of those features actually work as advertised on any kind of a consistent basis.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

ThJ (641955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749925)

That would mean that his phone doesn't handle POP3s "maildrop locked" response codes very well...

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (5, Funny)

McSmithster (917730) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749125)

You pretty much said everything I was thinking. These are by far some of the worst ideas I've seen in mobile technology. Fortunately they are just designs and will never make it to the market. In fact Im left wondering how some of these things even relate to mobile phones and devices. Its like they got together and had some weird conversation.

Nokia Exec : Hey you designers over there, you go design us some futurist concepts for mobile devices.

Designer 1: Sure thing, ok so what are we going to do???

Designer 2: Hey lets make things like electronic necklaces and talking robot heads.

Designer 1: Are you sure thats what Nokia wants? I thought they were into mobile phones

Designer 2: Ya ok, so we will throw in some ridiculous fragile looking thing, cause all futuristic crap must look fragile, and then we design my talking head.

Designer 1: Whats up with you and this talking head???

Designer 2: Just think, phone sex will never be the same again hehehe.

Designer 1: OHHH DAMN, thats good. Every nerd will buy one. Your brilliant.

Designer 2: Ya, we will even have it so that it will recharge while the user does a stroking motion. And with most nerds I would imagine that would be a lot.

Designer 1: HOLY CRAP, Im sold.

Nokia Exec: Me too.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (3, Informative)

rilister (316428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751399)

Good grief. These are concept designs. They aren't trying to sell *you* these things: particularly not the 'that sux, won't work' contingent at Slashdot. They didn't spend your money designing them.

These are concepts, meaning ideas, thoughts. You're lucky they shared them with you, since Nokia knows (as well as you do) that they're half-baked.

Linus Pauling: "If you want a good idea, first get a lot of ideas"

Key concept:lighten up, dude. They're supposed to be fun.

I happen to believe the guesture element of the first concept is pretty cool - the stance you hold the camera in determines it's behaviour. No buttons.

Pop-top and it feels good too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749126)

"Maybe I'm too Unix "old school". I like small devices each of which do their thing well, and integrate nicely with other things when it makes sense. In the above "future", it mostly doesn't."

That would be the penis that doubles as a can opener.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

lifterx (916661) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749143)

This may be slightly off-topic, but I think it's worth mentioning. Is it just me or have Nokia phones become seriously unreliable lately.

I purchased a brand new 8800 a couple of weeks ago, only to have to return it when I got home to find that it refused to turn on. I was told at the store that the phone was faulty, beyond repair, but having spent over $1000 on it they replaced it on the spot with a completely new one.

I was rather unimpressed to find that this new replacement was also D.O.A. After heading back to the store again, i settled for a Sony-Ericsson K750i and haven't looked back since.

At first I thought it was an isolated incident, and it's becoming normal to accept relatively high rates of failure for the first batch of any new tech product, but after chatting with the store staff I found out that it was surprisingly common for a large number of "first-wave" Nokias to be faulty. Oddly, apart for the ill-fated Treo, this rule doesn't generally apply to other manufacturers.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749202)

Most of the pictures seem to be 3d renderings or concept art. The whole thing stinks of either a PR pack (a packet for webmasters/journalists to quickly create material for a story) or a hoax. Don't hold your breath for these phones.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

tooth (111958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749363)

Well, here's my list:

- Easily sync data (i.e. contacts, phone book, birthdays etc) between my phone, friends phones, home PC and work PC. Use bluetooth or a cable, not SMS.
- Don't charge me $50 for a cable for the above like you do now.
- Pick a standard connector for all phones you make and stick to it. Don't make me buy a new handsfree/car kit, cables etc for a new phone.
- Better yet, make your hands free an industry standard 3.5/2.5 mm plug.
- Make your chargers standard too, how about 12v like in a car?
- Improve the UI, heck, let me impove it, such as uploding an xml file or whatever so I can hide options i never ever use.
- Less buttons, numbers 0-9, *, #, call, hangup, up, down. that should do it.
- Make buttons that are easy to use and not all cramed together.
- Don't limit me with what I can do. eg current phone only lets you pick a SMS alert from 5 options, even though I can choose any for the ring tone.
- mp3 or wav for ring tone, again, don't make it hard to ul new ones, scew the 4.95 for a ring tone bussiness! They're dodgy b@stards!

There's probably more, but I can't remember them.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749417)

Coverage of Nokia Concepts 2: Nokia Wrist Band Phone "Aki" - Extreme Innovation

Extreme Innovation ? Penicillin was Extreme Innovation

A wrist-cellphone is not Extreme Innovation
A shoe-cellphone is not Extreme Innovation
A hat-cellphone is not Extreme Innovation
A ball-cellphone is not Extreme Innovation
the list goes on....

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (5, Interesting)

macpeep (36699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749626)

I live in Finland - the country that Nokia is based in and a country that has been at the forefront of mobile phone development for at least the past 10 years. I have to say I don't understand at all the "I want a phone that is just a phone" or "I want a phone that works" type of comments.

I can't even remember when I've had a phone that didn't work. In the past 10+ years, the battery life on every phone I've had has been good enough that I have charged them about twice a week; that's 3+ days of real-life battery life that includes plenty of calls, text messages, etc. Reception has always been good and the only time I remember having dropped calls is when I've been in an elevator going down to an underground parking hall or something as extreme. Hell, even on my recent hiking trip in the mountains in Norway, there was reception half of the time. And that was far from any civilization! On the roads on the way to the mountains, there was good reception 100% of the time. Either way, reception is more about the deployment of base stations than about the phone. The last phone I had with an external antenna was 5 years ago anyway.

As far as functionality is concerned, I also don't get the complaint at all. There are plenty of models for all tastes. Let's look at Nokia, which this article is about:

Nokia 1100, 1110, 2650, 2600, 3100, 3120, 3220. None of them have a camera. You are free to pick one. Or if your carrier doesn't offer one, it's probably because nobody wants them!

Having said that, I wish people would get over the "phone" label. It's a device. Who gives a damn about what the name of it is? Not wanting a "phone" to have a camera or mp3 player is similar to saying that your don't want your computer to have the ability to play mp3's or view photos from your digital camera. It's a COMPUTER. It should only COMPUTE.

Seriously, it's a device and it has a bunch of features that makes sense to people in their daily lives. And you get whichever device (or none) that makes sense to you.

I have a Nokia 6630 right now and it's perfect for my use. It has 3G, EDGE and GPRS. It has tri-band GSM and it has Bluetooth. That means I can use it pretty much anywhere in the world! And with 3G/EDGE and Bluetooth, I can get Internet access to my laptop anywhere in the world too. I can sit in Starbucks in Shanghai and surf the net and read emails on the laptop while the phone is in my backpack, without ever touching a button on it. That's important to me, because I travel a lot and because I like to work in cafes, restaurants etc.

The phone has a 1.3 megapixel camera and a lens with less crappy quality than on most other mobile phone cameras. That allows me to snap pics of booths on tradeshows and MMS or email them to colleagues back in Finland. "Check out what company X is showing!". Or I can send my wife pictures of the beautiful lake by the sauna at the company off-site. "Wish you were here!". Obviously, it's not a replacement for my actual camera, which takes 100x better quality pictures. But the useage is different and I don't want to carry around my camera everywhere!

The phone has an email app. It lets me check my email when I'm somewhere where I don't want to take the laptop along. For example, I could be hiking in Lapland but I still want to check if we got that major deal that I was hoping would have been done before my vacation began. I don't use it much, but there are times when it's been a real life saver.

The phone has an XHTML web/wap browser. I use it to check the news, weather, TV-program listings, view webcams from Finland when I'm traveling, check what movies are in what theater and at what time, and even to order movie tickets once in a while. It's also good to do the occasional Wikipedia or Google lookup.

It has Symbian OS and Java, so I can play some fun games on it to pass the time on the subway or while waiting for a connecting flight. Or I can run some other useful apps, like IRC, AOL IM, MSN IM, SSH, BusWatch, WorldMate, Opera, etc. There's tons, and you can easily make your own if you're a programmer - either in C++ or in Java.

My wife doesn't need all the stuff I need. But she does want to play games, she does want to connect to the Internet wirelessly (even where WiFi isn't available), and she does want to be able to receive MMS's even if she doesn't care too much for sending them. She does care a lot about the visual of the phone though. So some other phone / device is more suitable for her. Maybe the Nokia 8800 for example. Or perhaps the Nokia 6021.

The point is, just choose whatever is right for you and stop bitching about the availability of stuff that other people find useful. Obviously if nobody would buy the high-end phones, the manufacturers wouldn't make them. The fact that they are offering those models should tell you that there's a sizeable market for them! And as long as people want low end models like the Nokia 1xxx, 2xxx and 3xxx series phones, they will continue to make them. Supply and demand, you know.

Peppe

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749894)

The main reason I like my phone to just be a phone is for the sake of simplicity. Look at the N-Gauge, it had a video player, it played 3D games, it played mp3s, and it was being sold as a phone. The N-Guage is the most frustrating piece of technology I've ever used, figuring out how to make a phone call was a chore. Now take the 3310, it made calls, it used SMS, the most flashy feature was its ringtone composer. Nearly everyone I know has used a 3310 at some point, and nearly all of them agree that it was a fantastic phone, every feature it had was easy to access.

Another reason I like my phone to be a phone first and foremost is the same reason I like my iPod to be an MP3 player first and foremost. My phone is not as good an mp3 player as my iPod, nore is it as good at playing games as my DS, and its not as good a camera as my F828. Multi functional devices are not as good at any one thing as a device desgined for that one thing will be.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750415)

"oh and by the way, I'm also Nokia PR manager" :D Go Finland :D
(Geek from Kotka)

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (2, Interesting)

jgs (245596) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750762)

It has tri-band GSM and it has Bluetooth. That means I can use it pretty much anywhere in the world!

(Bluetooth of course has nothing to do with where you can use it.)

If only that were true. The world uses four bands. Nokia for some reason likes to market 850/1800/1900 MHz phones (sorry, "devices") in the U.S.A. and 900/1800/1900 in Europe. I wish someone there would wake up and realize that if you have to build two versions with different frequencies for different markets, then it's not a "world phone"! I guess that's where the "pretty much" in your comment comes into play.

This is more than just a theoretical problem. There are countries which have little or no GSM infrastructure other than 900 MHz (much of the Middle East, for example) so U.S. Nokia "world" phones don't work there at all. I bet European "world" phones get pretty bad coverage in parts of the U.S. that are served by 850 MHz. AFAICT, Motorola is the only vendor [*]
who realizes that "world" means quad-band, and unfortunately Motorola has never learned that the UI matters. (Of course Nokia seems to be forgetting that lesson as fast as they can so maybe a window is opening for Moto).

[*] Other than vendors of PDA-type phone devices, who mostly seem to have a clue.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (2, Interesting)

jgs (245596) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750972)

Obviously if nobody would buy the high-end phones, the manufacturers wouldn't make them.

"There is nothing as deceptive as an obvious fact" --Arthur Conan Doyle.

That may be true, but I don't think it's the only possible conclusion. It seems just as likely to me that the problem manufacturers such as Nokia are attempting to solve is that "just-a-phone" phones have become a commodity, and nobody likes to sell into a commodity market... or at least not high-overhead companies that are used to high profit margins. So they're expending their war chests trying to create (and capture) a value-added, high-fashion, high-margin market. Quite possibly they are willing to take a loss for quite some time in the effort to do this, because the other alternative (embracing the commodity market) looks like death for them.

In this scenario, current consumer demand has little to do with the introduction of the combination phone, camera and turnip twaddler. The vendor throws together whatever random bunch of features they can fit on a chip (and get approved by a marketing executive), puts it out there with a glitzy advertising campaign and a lot of Flash on their web site, and crosses their fingers. Note that the marketing executive has every motivation to take risks and none to conserve resources -- if the product catches on big time, the exec is a hero. If it flops, the exec might get spanked, or not. If the exec does nothing and the company manufactures commodities, well, they can lay off their entire marketing staff, can't they?

Supply and demand, you know.

...works over the long term, not the short term.

This article [lightreading.com] seems to me to be at least tangentially related, insofar as it says something about the guys calling the shots in Helsinki.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13758038)

Repeated surveys of US mobile phone users show that a majority of cell phone users want exactly what you're describing: a phone that just works. Cameras, Bluetooth, music players, email, etc, all rank low on what US consumers say they want.

I think your real explanation for the proliferation of mostly useless bits on phones is because the manufacturers and the carriers desperately _need_ you to replace your cell phone frequently.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

FurryFeet (562847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13752411)

The phone has a 1.3 megapixel camera ... Obviously, it's not a replacement for my actual camera, which takes 100x better quality pictures.

Holy crap! You have a 130 megapixel camera????

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

macpeep (36699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13754686)

No, but I have a camera that doesn't have a lens that's made from the bottom of a plastic Coke bottle.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

ryantate (97606) | more than 8 years ago | (#13753713)

Great post! I agree. But note that in the U.S. reception is a bigger issue because 1> we are newer to mobile phones 2> we have multiple networks due to lack of standardization thus no one network is as comprehensive as it should be 3> larger country 4> more diverse geography, particularly in urban areas.

In my experience Nokia phones are not part of the problem because they get very good receipt. The problem is the carriers here, who have competing incomplete networks which they do not invest enough in. However many consumers tend to blame the phonemakers for this, because the technical issues are confusing and because some phonemakers (other than Nokie) deserve to be criticisized for reception issues.

Anyone who follows them mobile phone market knows Nokia was among the LAST to put cameras and other doo-dads in phones, if anything they waited too long. Because Nokia is so good at small interfaces I would LOVE to see them compete with Apple and offer MP3 players, both in phones and standalone. I also think they could make great PDAs and little televisions and Internet phones.

Einstein was a fake!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13775583)

The truth is Einstein was not a healthy man.

First off his http://www.pbs.org/opb/einsteinswife/ [pbs.org] wife helped him come up with the e=mc^2 theory, yet she received no credit for it.

In the original publishing of the theory in 1905 she was credited with ww.pbs.org/opb/einsteinswife/science/mquest.htm [slashdot.org] co-author credits

Another small piece of Einstein history that few people know is the terms of his divorce from his first wife (The woman mentioned above) was that she received all prize money when he wins a Nobel prize for the theory of relativity. He agreed to this and in fact Einstein never saw any of the money when he won the Nobel prize.


Einstein awarded Nobel PrizeAfter seven nominations, Albert wins the 1921 medal for physics. He gives the prize money to Mileva, per their 1919 divorce agreement. It is the smallest cash award since the Nobel Prize was created, worth about $348,000 (in 2003 USD).


Sorry, I can't link to it but it is in the PBS timeline.

The kicker is that after his divorce from the woman who helped make him famous, the guy married his cousin. Yup, his COUSIN!!!!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstien [slashdot.org] cousin fucker

So there you have it folks, the man so many think of as a symbol of modern science not only stole ideas (or at the very least refused to acknowledge getting help) from his wife but also decided that it would be fun to screw his cousin.

Re:well, let's just do the future, ignore the pres (1)

EntropyEngine (890880) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751662)

As is always the case with stuff like this, the designs look like year two design student work .. just not all that good.

Also, the other major stumbling block is thinking in such painfully straight lines.

If I was thinking about a concept mobile / cell phone, I'd be thinking about something in the next twenty years, whereby the phone is simple two tiny implants in your body; one in your ear, one in your throat, all powered by your own body heat or from your blood, all of which are entirely feasible.

Mind you, that doesn't leave much room for design, does it?

wow, that is fascinating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749016)

no wait, the other thing.

stupid.

Sadly (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749018)

Phone functions have been removed from all of these devices due to space limitations.

Seriously??? Where are the phones? (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749020)

These must be the most ridiculous items to be called mobile phones ever. Just what I want to carry, a little talking ball that backtalks to me when I ask it to call someone.

God forbid I miss that important call while scuba diving. I'm sure my clients would love to talk to me underwater.

What's wrong with just making a quality phone with good RF and solid networking...

Unusable (3, Insightful)

Numair (77943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749022)

The user interfaces for these things completely suck. Anyone remember that retarded "rotary dial" interface on the 3650? Yeah, well, here's more from the same people who brought you that piece of crap ...

Re:Unusable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749247)

Nokia have both the most conventional and most avant garde designs on the market. Personally, I WANT them to keep on trying new ideas. My 8910 is the best phone I've ever had - reception is fabulous, it's built like a tank and it still does over a week on its original battery after 2 years. If you don't like Nokia, buy something else, but don't criticise them for innovating.

Re:Unusable (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749424)

contrary to popular belief 3650's dial was actually VERY good to text on, with one thumb handling either side of the 'dial', it was so fast people wouldn't believe that you were irc'ing from a mobile.

if you dial long numbers by finger memory, and would need a traditional 9 pad for that, then you're in the minority of people nowadays. most of the numbers people call are stored in the phones phonebook(it looks just unnatural when people in tv shows or movies type long numbers into the phone when calling someone who's number they should have in it already).

but these are just *concept* models, not "real".

Damping effect from EUCD anyway (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749718)

Unusable interfaces aside, as the EUCD starts to take effect it is going to make working with computer-based communications systems much more of a pain than it already is. That and if the problem off software/algorithm/business method patents becomes real in Europe will make it so the only option will be to rearrange what they already have.

Re:Unusable (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749754)

"Anyone remember that retarded "rotary dial" interface on the 3650? Yeah, well, here's more from the same people who brought you that piece of crap ..."

I had one of these and I have no idea what you're bitching about. I mistyped numbers far less often with the 3650 than I do with the traditional clamshell phone I have now. The main reason for this is that the radial design allowed for more space in between the buttons.

"OH, gee, it looks different! I could never get used to that!! Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch..."

Re:Unusable (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749809)

I second that. I have a 7600 [nokia.com] with the buttons down the sides in two rows, and I have to say that after a few days of "wtf?" it has become far faster and easier to use for applications than a traditional keypad. Two thumbs, one either side, and no obstruction of the screen.

Re:Unusable (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751055)

> Anyone remember that retarded "rotary dial" interface on the 3650?

Hey, i have exactly this phone, and for me the "rotary dial" totally rocks!
I would never exchange it against a "normal" layout!
It's hard to explain, but it simply feels better to type with it.

Sure... you could make it better. But it's a good idea to start with. And isn't it better to innovate, than to reuse a design that is unchanged for, what, 50+ years now?

You know what i always have to think when i read/hear comments like yours?
"Prejudices". Because I bet you never used it , you just played with it for some minutes, and then you're bitching against it for the rest of the time. Come on, say that I'm right! ;)

This does not mean that i thnk nokia are the greatest of all. My next phone will be a japanese import of a samsung. One of those crazy things that are 5 years ahead of nokia. ;)

Re:Unusable (1)

Numair (77943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13780376)

And I suppose this is why they had to go back and redesign the phone with a standard keypad? Because you know, it was such a stunning success ...

Re:Unusable (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 8 years ago | (#13793380)

No. It was because users were too dumb to give it a chance and did not even try it. But... you know.. they vote bush, they believe in religions, they use internet explorer and aol... what did you expect? :(

Does this mean (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749031)

that Nokia is out of ideas? Can't they go down the street to Ikea and get some more?

Re:Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749302)

Ikea is Swedish.

Re:Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749837)

It's also an acronym. It's IKEA, not "Ikea".
Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.

Re:Does this mean (2, Funny)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749908)

Oh great, so now the phones will have names like "SVANSBO" and "BJURSTA", and you will have to assemble them yourself with those wierd little wrenches.

Make Phones for Consumers (5, Insightful)

fragmentate (908035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749032)

Subject says it all.

Most companies are making their phones for the carriers. Which means out of the last 4 camera phones I've had, I've had to buy a service to get the pictures off. Yeah, I can buy some 3rd party hack to do the job, but these hacks would work so much better if the phone had been designed for my personal use. Instead, they're designed so the carriers can make more money.

So, they can make all the fancy phones they want, I've ceased buying them.

Now that I think about it, I'm probably the only one that cares...

Re:Make Phones for Consumers (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749037)

Just by chance, I happened across a sweet deal on the Danger Hiptop II, known as the Sidekick II on T-Mobile in the USA. The camera sucks a bit, but then I didn't want it for that really. It is almost everything that I want in a personal communications device currently.

Yeah, the browser needs some help, and a little more lattitude in usage would be nice, but all things considered, the service and functionality of the Danger device is very cool. You might want to look at that because its got a good service plan too. Don't know what coverage in your area is like, but its suitable here for me, I'm quite happy...

Re:Make Phones for Consumers (4, Insightful)

Slashdiddly (917720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749068)

Maybe they would make phones for consumers if consumers paid for them. However, at least in the US, most phones are heavily ($200-$300) subsidized by carriers. So the simple answer is, as always: follow the money.

Re:Make Phones for Consumers (1)

FRiC (416091) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749234)

This is probably true in US and Europe, but here in Asia, the phones usually aren't subsidized, and still, people change phones regularly and far more often than people who are bound by carrier plans. I've been eyeing the Nokia 6630 for a while and finally I'm gonna be buying one this month to replace my aging N-Gage QD. And I'm only buying because there's a price drop from almost $400 to $300.

Re:Make Phones for Consumers (2, Interesting)

Spoukie (775267) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749448)

This is why I ordered a "sim free" t630 from the UK. I use it here in the US with any gsm carrier I want. They inevitably force me to accept some "free" phone that I promptly donate to whoever wants/need it.

Re:Make Phones for Consumers (1)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749087)


But the "consumers" are not the handset manufacturers' customers. The carriers are, so end users' demands don't really matter.

Re:Make Phones for Consumers (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749106)

I bought a Motorola V551 recently. It has the same "dock" connector as the previous V60i I had. Why would I want to buy this phone?

It does pretty much everything the new RAZR does, except it doesn't look as "slick". oh well, money in my pocket. In addition, I've got 2 home chargers now, as well as one at work, and one in my car that can still be used.

I also bought a USB data cable off of EBay. That, and some software that Motorola sells *cough cough* and you can do a lot of neato things with this phone.

Like transfer pictures (both ways!), transfer your own custom ringtones (mp3s as ringtones too!) without having to pay silly per-ringtone fees. In addition you can keep a copy of your phone's address db, and update it on the PC.

Also, you can mess with the "system files" with a few other non-motorola proggys. This gave me the ability to adjust some frivolous things, such as the name displayed when the phone is open. (Hint: It no longer displays "CINGULAR") I adjusted the earpiece volume to "4" - they ship it programmed to "1", and a lot of people have complained about the volume being too low. (Max of 8...)

Anyways, I really don't need a majority of the features. But I did need to buy into the new generation... GSM is the new standard, and they're phasing out AT&T's old network - or so it would seem, since my service was getting crappier and crappier by the day.

Buy GSM then. (1)

tabbser (560130) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749216)

Presumably you ended up buying a verizon or sprint phone that are notoriously crippled.
Consider buying a more mainstream GSM based phone. The GSM phones are less likely to be futzed with by the carriers.

Re:Make Phones for Consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749449)

All the camera phones ive owned, and all the ones my mates own have had the ability to copy photos and details over bluetooth or cable to a computer.

I was under the impression that the cell phone companies in the US were responsible for limiting these features on the phone.

There are no such limitations in australia

Re:Make Phones for Consumers (2, Informative)

fiddlesticks (457600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749549)

> Now that I think about it, I'm probably the only one that cares...

nope. everyone else gets their pics, music, vids on and off the handset with bluetooth, IR, or a USB cable.

Switch carriers or handsets until you can do that.

Global Nomads (1, Funny)

starling (26204) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749034)

The Rev. Spooner would be shocked at the idea of someone giving their geeky wife Noble Gonads.

oh come on (4, Insightful)

akhomerun (893103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749070)

this isn't even realistic. phones have been the same, weak, slow, useless crap for the last 10 years. even if these phones are plausibile, they are totally unergonomic and unrealistic. i mean what planet are these guys on?

even if any of these devices become plausible, the cell phone companies won't touch them because they don't involve ripping off the customer for $3 ringtones

furthermore, isn't it easier to just push buttons rather than to remember stupid gestures that you have to act out in public and look like a complete idiot?

Re:oh come on (2, Funny)

Wazukkithemaster (826055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749436)


phones have been the same, weak, slow, useless crap for the last 10 years.
are you still saying that cell phones are useless? 1992 called (on their weak, slow, useless, crappy cell phones), they want their bitching back. Is slow even a valid complaint? do you suffer delay when you speak into your cell? Or are you pouting that Verizon isn't delivering on their promise of "Broadband Quality Video!!!!"?

Re:oh come on (1)

akhomerun (893103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750630)

slow as in how fast they can run mobile applications. phones still run crummy 2D games and are still slower than a gameboy advance with only a few (expensive) exceptions.

slow as in their user interface, in many cases, uses more resources than the phones have to offer. i don't mind a slow phone as long as it doesn't try to win you over with impossibly slow eye-candy

and by useless i mean the fact that #1 the voice quality still sucks, #2 they still get dropped calls, and #3 the only real new feature that phones have gotten are cameras that have low quality and phones that don't let you transfer your phonos without sending them through the network (and paying). there are literally no new features unless you spend $400-500 on a phone.

Re:oh come on (1)

Rob_Warwick (789939) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749681)

this isn't even realistic. phones have been the same, weak, slow, useless crap for the last 10 years. even if these phones are plausibile, they are totally unergonomic and unrealistic. i mean what planet are these guys on?

I read that as 'ungnomic' and the first thought was "Yeah! We need better phones for the gnome people to use!"

Thank you so very much for that. My inability to read has made my night.

riiight (1)

akhomerun (893103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749086)

"...which can be charged by bio-energy"

uhh...okay spock.

Re:riiight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749121)

The Matrix has you!

riiight-This is a good place for a Stick-up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749167)

It runs on static cling.

Re:riiight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749199)

I knew there was something to scanning for lifeforms. Now who says lifeforms dont radiate a unique energy. This phone runs off the stuff.

And They Will Sell (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749104)

I lurv a good pathetic fallacy as much as anyone.

Some of these, especailly the "Aki", ranks among the all time greats of things fashioned by repeatedly being beaten by the stupid stick.

There were mood rings [howstuffworks.com] ; and, one of my favs, pet rocks [virtualpet.com] (I keep mine in my shoe). Then there was/is the virtual pet [virtualpet.com] .

Stupid though they be ya gotta admire the chutzpa to market this stuff. Somewhere in a virtual heaven Willy Loman [wikipedia.org] is smiling down on Nokia.

Re:And They Will Sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749296)

Interesting link re: Loman (Death of a Salesman). I so want to be Arthur Miller when I hit 90. He was the fucking man , all the way to the end.

i guess one way to boost investor confidence... (1)

johnelin (845000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749118)

... is to spam them with "futuristic ideas".

let's face it -- all of these ideas suck... and the worst part is, they LOOK HORRIBLE -- and when it comes to marketing a cell phone/pda/mobile device, it just has to look cool. take for example motorola's razr, t-mobile's sidekick, and apple's line of ipods.

nokia, please make a product that doesnt look ridiculous to carry around. thanks.

Practical applications? (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749181)

Hmmm...

The Aki allows communication only by gestures. The SURV1 is completely waterproof. I guess if you could combine these features in one phone, you would have the ideal device to call for help if you get in trouble while diving.

I am having real difficulty coming up with any other practical benefits to any of these devices.

Re:Practical applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749565)

you would have the ideal device to call for help if you get in trouble while diving.

Yes, all you would need to do is to find your buddy on the phone list, and press "Send", and... oops - "No Service"... RF don't go deep in water.

Re:Practical applications? (1)

Phobea (921528) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749817)

Oh come on, be realistic, the Aki would be totally useful if you were kidnapped by blind people! I was three times last week, if only I'd have had an Aki.

I love the idea of the spotty teenager accidentally calling his friends every time he looks at porn however.

Article error- (1)

NilObject (522433) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749220)

More featured concepts include a wearable, shock proof and waterproof device, the SURV1

They misspelled "pad of paper and a pencil".

Re:Article error- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749284)

I'll give you shock proof, but paper is neither wearable or waterproof.

No, Bad Idea! (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749241)

"the Aki, a wrist wrap device for programmed self expression that tunes its behavior and outgoing/incoming communications based on the moods and gestures of the user, and allows 'talking' without speaking, just by gesture"

I'm sure no Slashdotter would want something like that. It's not such much the concept is bad as putting it on the wrist might reveal too much without a whole lot of talking...

I think what we need from Nokia (0, Troll)

Pudusplat (574705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749248)

Is better emoticon control and more loud ringtones. I'm always trying to text friend all my peeps with cool news, but its just too hard for me to type :D and :-) using the normal interface.

Then, when I REALLY want to jam out to the tunes, I'm always interupted by annoying people who tell me to turn off or down my phone. I mean, I paid for the movie too, its not like phones are illegal. Anyhow, why would they make phones light up if they weren't meant to be lit up?

I think Nokia rocks. But I think Jay-Z is under-represented on the ring tone list. If they could do something about that I would much appreciate it. Anywayz, its time for me to peace out. Later guyz! TTYL! BBL! IWTFUSHITH! :D :-D

gestures...... (1)

cloudreader (801693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749269)

_ \>^||_ ~/_<_ _|_~ ~^^> >

For those who do not understand gestures:-

I, for one, welcome our new gesture overlords

Better ideas (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749288)

Here's a better idea, and one that's quite buildable - the two piece jewelry phone. One piece is an earring; that's the speaker end. The other is a necklace or choker; that has the microphone. Voice controlled, using something like Wildfire's semi-intelligent interface. No ring tones; a subtle whisper tells the user who's calling, and a head-toss quietly diverts the call to voicemail. Finally, an elegant phone.

Generating power (1)

dawhippersnapper (861941) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749397)

The bouncy ball cell phone is okay, what I'd really like to see is a wind up generator similiar to emergency wind up radios, if one exists for a decent price already, I'd love to see it. I wouldnt even mind a .5 cubic feet one, if it supported multiple voltages and generated enough power to maintain a cell phone or maybe efficient laptop.

Re:Generating power (1)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 8 years ago | (#13749906)

Hand crank mobile phone chargers [portable-power.co.uk] cost about ten quid.

Re:Generating power (1)

tuomas_kaikkonen (843958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750246)

I love this idea of using your oatmeal motor for charging mobile phones. How about a generator you can plug into your bicycle -- charge the phone while biking to work.

Where can I buy these things in the USA? The price of 10 GBP still is a bit pricey.

Tuomas

Colores ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749511)

Oh geez, what's that thing called again ... Mulva?

plus 5, Tro7l) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749853)

that he docume8ts It just 0wnz.',

If you want a phone that "works" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13749915)

If you want a phone that just does basic calls where you can hear the person speaking and sends text messages get a Nokia. An OLD Nokia.

I'm using a 3310 which I bought 3 years ago now. It's been trashed around, dropped in a glass of coke (don't ask), chucked out of windows etc. All the stuff that happens to a teenager's phone. It's still working just fine. Havent even needed to replace the battery yet.

Re:If you want a phone that "works" (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750077)

Yup. Spot on. Actually old mobiles start cluttering up my desk. Last week they were handing out one year old Siemens phones at my company. Someone brought them in so we could sell them on ebay, but in fact they weren't worth the hassle so I got one and used it during the Oktoberfest were I tend to loose or break phones (so would you, trust me!). By chance it survived and I will keep it around in case I need a rugged, inexpensive mobile. I still use my Nokia 6210 occasionally and it has great sound quality, one week of standby and the most intuitive interface. They sell at ebay for 20$. My everyday phone is a 6230 wich has everything I could ever ask for except, maybe, a decent text editor for reading project gutenberg books on the road.

But hey, that's just me and a small java program can solve this in a minute. Anyone has pointers on this?

Re:If you want a phone that "works" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13750202)

RepliGO

Just like a Flex-O-Panel (1)

Stian Engen (758718) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750064)

But can it pick up Sub-Etha TV? And does it measure the local gravity and orbital movment, track the sun, pick up clues from its enviroment as to what the local unit conventions are and reset itself appropriately? If not, i'm not interested

Worst thing that ever happened (2, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750260)

Ever since Nokia won the best design team award back in 2003 they have been cranking out crap. I was developing software for cell phones and everytime a new Nokia model would come in we would laugh at it. Not only was the UI usually braindead (3650 rotary dial comes to mind - or how about the stupid NGage "sidetalker"), but the electronics kept perpetuating the same flaws. Our company was were putting music on cell phones (over the air delivery of full tracks), and for some reason Nokia insisted on mono 16KHz audio on their high end Symbian phones. They kept coming out with new plastic, but the same old pathetic innards, model after model. Our customers were begging us to get decent sound on the Nokias and we were constantly explaining to them how Nokia was the problem, not our software (which played wonderful stereo 44KHz sound on MS Smartphone devices). Anyhow, if Nokia had put half the effort into improving the inside as they spent on "improving" the outside, they would have been much better off.

So carriers can cripple them some more? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750652)

It's not about the phone it's about the carrier and the carriers will just cripple these new concepts so that they can fuck you over on the premium serive charges.

And let's face facts - only about 15% of cell phone owners ever bother to use all the extra features. Not even the camera once they get that first picture email bill.

What the (1, Flamebait)

LS (57954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13750653)

The Colores concept featured by Nokia provides a fully packed communication device that lets you handle your digital life ubiquitously, allowing you to access and share information seamlessly on the go.

What a load of crap! This is so 1998? Let's break this down.

* fully packed - what does this phone have that others don't? I don't see a hard drive. a GPU? An altimeter?
* communication device - um, we say phone around these them parts
* digital life - Until I get a jack in the back of my neck, this is nothing but market-speak
* ubiquitously - ummmm whatEVER
* access and share information - I f'n hope so! What phone can't do that these days?
* seamlessly - What, is this phone made of a tube of spandex?
* on the go - Great, I don't have to set up a tripod to use the phone? Awesome!

And what's with the head/robot thing? Haven't enough engineers heard of Microsoft's Bob to figure out that they need to PLEASE STOP trying to make a gadget that resembles "my friend"??!?!? Look people, until you have software that can pass the turing test, stop wasting your time making compromising the UI by trying to make it "my friend". There's a reason most gadgets are not anthropomorphic, and you prematurely ejaculating engineers need to wait until these machines can ACTUALLY be my friend before introducing me to them :)

LS

Re:What the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13751359)

This is the silliest rant about a content-less marketspeak sentence I have read in awhile. It's a pity Slashdot mods this kind of a comment "Insightful" and shows Slashdot is not what it used to be.

Re:What the (1)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#13751656)

It's a pity Slashdot mods this kind of a comment "Insightful" and shows Slashdot is not what it used to be.

I hate to break it to you, but slashdot was never what it used to be.
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