Inspired by the wave of new Windows Phone 7 handsets we've seen this week, we decided to revisit 10 of the coolest concept phones of recent years…
Mere words cannot do justice to the sheer awesomeness of Mozilla’s Seabird. Two integrated pico projectors can beam a display on any wall, as well as a virtual keyboard onto any flat surface, providing a full desktop experience that fits in your pocket. Additionally a Bluetooth headset/remote/mouse is housed in the device itself. Check out the video, commence drooling, then weep when you remember it’s just a dream (for now at least).
Named after its shape-shifting abilities, the Finns’ Morph concept is a technological marvel. Nanotechnology allows the device to be stretched, folded, and worn on your wrist, while its molecular structure enables the handset to shrug off dirt and grime with ease. The killer feature? You can analyse air pollution, a feature we’re sure you’ve been begging to have for years.
Traccia Pen Phone by Andrea Ponti
Traditionalism is shown the middle finger here, with the aim of promoting a more natural interaction with technology. Held and used like a pen, the handset movements are converted into text, commands and functions. Sounds pretty cool, but tailors will in turn need to develop a concept pocket that will hold such a device with ease.
Modula by Simon Lyons
The Modula’s focus is on flexibility, which is why the hardware can be upgraded with different modules to offer upgraded and customised functionality. Want a better camera? Pop out the old one and shove in the new one. Job done. Although a good idea, it’s unlikely to ever see the light of day as phone manufacturers want us to upgrade our handsets every year.
Window Phone by Seunghan Song
HTC Sense's live weather wallpaper is utterly annihilated by this offering with its super-realistic live weather notifications that alter the look of the entire screen. Note that the word "screen" and "phone" are interchangeable here, as the device seems to composed entirely of a screen and nothing else. We've given up trying to figure out how this could ever possibly be built, although the educated among us have hypothesised that it could be powered by fairy dust and unicorn tears.
Nokia E-Cu by Patrick Hyland
This concept eradicates the need for pesky chargers and obliterates the dreaded low-battery icon. The handset’s copper backplate works as a thermogenerator heatsink, which in plain English means that it converts heat into electricity. Simply juice it up in your hand, your pocket as you walk around, or even in the oven. That last suggestion may, however, have undesirable consequences that we hold no liability for.
MINIMA by Seung-Hyun Yoon
Perfect for all of the stylishly classy people out there, the MINIMA is constructed from wood, and boasts a quirky lattice-structured keypad and a cleverly camouflaged secondary display. Although not exactly bursting with hi-tech features, your supermodel date will be impressed when you whip it out of your Armani suit in the middle of a dinner date at The Ivy. That’s a scenario we can all relate to, right?
Sony Ericsson FH by Du Jun
Both screens on this handset can pivot horizontally and vertically and are able to combine to form one "super screen". It’s the perfect solution for media junkies who crave screen real estate without sacrificing pocket space. Both halves can also be detached and used as walkie-talkies, which is useful for when you’ve lost the other half in a maze of New Looks and Topshops, have no signal to track them down with, and just want to get back in time for the big match.
Nokia Kinect by Jeremy Hopkins
Although sporting a rear end that Sir Mix-a-lot would approve of, there is actually a method to the madness in this design. Notification such as texts, calls or alarms cause this clever little phone to actually stand upright on your desk to capture your attention. Very useful for the hearing impaired or those oblivious people who nuke their eardrums with the volume cranked up to 11.
HTC 1 by Andrew Kim
One of the less crazy concepts on offer, but a truly gorgeous one. The focus of the HTC 1 is its premium quality, which is evident from its machined brass construction. Other innovations include a cleverly hidden swivelling stand (transforming it into an elegant alarm clock) and a built-in UV emitter, whose light bathes the screen and kills lingering germs and bacteria.