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I’m Beginning to Understand Objectums Sexuals

–almost

1781Most fans and followers of Industrial Design agree that there’s been a drought in technology design innovation, of late. It almost feels as if the design world has relegated itself to sitting back and seeing Jonathan Ive is going to do next rather than forging any new technologies or form factors of their own. However, fear not, for the drought is finally over; Inhabit and Kyocera recently unveiled a prototype for a new phone over which the design world, its fans, and gadget geeks everywhere are currently oooing and aahing–the Kyocrea EOS, a kinetic flexible OLED phone. If you love design, it should make you squee! with joy–you may just do so regardless.

Look at it. It is beautiful. The simplicity of its minimalist design makes the iPhone look like the Griswold house at Christmas time, and with a form factor the approximate dimensions of a small wallet, it makes the iPhone look bloated, as well.

foldphone-ed02

kyo2

But this phone is far from being just another pretty face. It was brilliantly designed using myriad new (and innovatively incorporated old) technologies. Designed by industrial designer Susan McKinney, the EOS consists of a soft, semi-rigid polymer skin that surrounds a flexible, low-energy OLED display. And, while the tri-fold design might look a bit enigmatic, it actually facilitates some of the more innovative facets of the design.

Completely folded,  it’s a simple phone. Shape memory allows the phone’s keys to pop up when in use and blend in with the surface during downtime.

folded

 

When you want to use it for text messaging, you simply unfold one side of it. The keys again pop out when in use, just like when in phone mode, except in this mode you’re given a full qwerty alphabet layout for ease of use.

0kyocera06

 

When the EOS Phone is completely unfolded you get a massive (for hand held devices) display.

0kyocera052


While these new concepts alone should satiate the most die-hard design enthusiasts, even more creative thought has been dedicated to the phone’s energy use and storage. This device feeds off your love of it, so to speak.  It converts kinetic energy into an electrical charge then stores it. The more you physically interact with the EOS, the more energy it creates–without using batteries.  As long as you keep using it, or moving it, it will continue to charge itself,  which means it will never die on you at the wrong moment. It also means it’s more environmentally friendly than most phones.

All of these technologies and concepts combine to create one of the most innovative phones created in recent history, and the best part is it was designed by a woman.  Industrial Design is a field in which women are seriously underrepresented, and it’s great to see Susan McKinney making  a splash and receiving an abundance of accolades for her design. With any luck we’ll see these phones on the shelves in the very near future, and continue to see more of Susan’s fantastic work.

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May 6, 2009 - Posted by | Daily Whims | , , , ,

9 Comments »

  1. I’ll take two!

    Comment by Cristal Methodd | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. I’ll take two . . . after the price drops below $200 each.

    Comment by Helen Skor | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Helen Skor: Yeah, it will probably be outrageously priced, initially, but that just means I”m going to have to sell my body to science or something.

    Comment by Lily the Pink | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. I’ve never actually had an urge to buy any crazy new gadget, ever… until now. I need this phone.

    Comment by vodkafanta | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. 3 cheers for ladies!

    Comment by baby fish mouth | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  6. Awesome. But it’s a prototype, so who can say what product will actually be sold, or whether one will be sold at all.

    Comment by WhoMee | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  7. WhoMee: True it is, a prototype, but updates tell me they are working on introducing it in San Diego. The original projected release was sometime in 2010, but from what I hear they’ve bumped that up because of the reception it’s gotten. I hope rushing things won’t cause the quality to suffer, and I still have a lot of questions, but it’s a gorgeous design, and I really hope it lives up to it’s reputation. If not, it’s still good to see designers actually making an effort, and maybe this will inspire others to focus on new materials, form factors and power sources.

    Comment by Lily the Pink | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  8. Even cooler, LtheP. I have to admit, I was skeptical about this becoming a real product because it just seems too strange and futuristic, as if the world isn’t ready for it yet.

    Those OLED’s will transform a lot of stuff in the next couple years. Someone needs to figure out how to combine an OLED and photovoltaic material (is that the right term?) to allow for solar-charging without an increase in weight or volume.

    Comment by WhoMee | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  9. You just blew my mind WM.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | May 6, 2009 | Reply


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