Coming up, the future

Most concept phones are simply figments of researchers' imaginations. But that’s where the ideas for the next big technologies come from. Rajeev Arora and Pranav Dixit write. BlackBerry flex | Windows Concept Phone | What's making news

business Updated: Feb 18, 2012 01:27 IST

Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about a new phone hitting the market. But while 99% of new products are more or less similar, every once in a while there comes a ‘revolutionary’ phone or a technology. But these technologies/products do not appear overnight. They are ideas that acquire a form after years of research. Take the example of a full-panel touch screen phone.

An industry standard today, till 2006 it was nothing more than a figment of a researcher’s imagination, a fantasy, a wish, a concept. That’s what concept phones are all about. They rarely make it to assembly lines or into people’s pockets.

But as Tapani Jokinen, principal designer of Nokia, and Jarkko Saunamaki, personalisation design manager of Nokia put it: “Their [concept phones’] experience, technology and features, when found meaningful, are integrated into new devices… a totally revolutionary technology might be more difficult to accept by users than the evolutionary steps of the same technology.”

Broadly, there are three kinds of concept phones – a) ones that are mind-boggling (Blackberry Empathy, for example, that senses human emotions!), b) ones that are too far ahead of their times (the Windows concept phone), and c) ones that see light of the day (Near Field Communication-enabled phones). But one thing common to all is that they are awe-inspiring.

BlackBerry flex

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Windows Concept Phone

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What's making news

When the World Mobile Congress begins in 10 days from now, be assured that in an attempt to flaunt their research capabilities and outdo competitors, every cellphone manufacturer will showcase a concept that may not only make headlines but may even revolutionise the way we use mobile phones.

Till then, enjoy reading about five concept phones that we wish were more than just ideas.

First Published: Feb 17, 2012 22:03 IST