New Delhi: The unusually-designed Handphone, says its Italy-based designer Massimo Marrazzo, is a bridge to the unusual shape future cellphones will have.
What was the inspiration behind the Handphone?
The Handphone was designed for my personal portfolio. You know, if you want to have space in the industrial design market, you need to impress prospective clients with new ideas. Inspiration is always hard to explain. It came naturally to me. I always thought that the gesture we make every time we ask our friends to call us could be used to design a phone. I was thinking of a phone that could be used and looked like a watch. The Handphone is just a bridge to the future cell phones, when, thanks to nanotechnology, all the elements of the phone will be a customized on a thin and flexible strip on the skin, like a plaster, and it will use the body heat as energy.
What are some of the specifics of the phone?
The Handphone has a 65K color touchscreen which is equipped with the “voice activated” and “hands free” software for dialing, picking up and hanging up the line; has bluetooth; is made durable high-quality plastic which is available in different colors and comfortable feeling; it weighs between 75g and 100 gm; is about 2 inches in diameter; the durable elastic string, which is 4mm in diameter, is available in different colors with excellent tensile strength.
What would you say is the USP of such a design?
I think the gesture of shaking the thumb and pinky to call is natural for the people. You can have the phone always ready to use, and putting microphone and speaker very close at your ear and mouth is possible use it also in noisy places. You can continue to catch objects or use a pen. Also, with the Handphone, you can make use of the vibracall more practically. Often ring tones are irritating to others and vibracall isn’t always useful if the phone is far from you. Wearing this phone, vibracall is more practical because it vibrates on the hand.
Even its ease of use is a big plus.
The circular shape of the phone helps in a number of ways. It gives you more volume with less perimeter in comparison with other shapes; the human body does not have corners and therefore a circular shape adds to the ease of use; and such a minimalistic shape adds to its elegance. I could have used an irregular shape, but it would have looked very odd, like an alien phone.
You wanted your cell phone too to be a fashion accessory, just like watches.
Exactly. Watches do just one thing, and you have them in millions of models and prices. They have become trendy accessories rather than mere instruments that show you time. I wanted to do the same with mobile phones. Fashion victims could wear it like a jewel with a special cover and elastic string that could match the elegant dress you are wearing. This is a phone to show, not to hide in the bag or pocket.
Wearing the phone on your hand also saves users from radiation effect.
Yes. Separating the microphone and the speaker is possible to adapt them according the personal shape of human cranium and to keep the electromagnetic field far from the head.
How soon do you see the technology adapted for mass use?
When I design, I begin from the technology that can be put inside. Technology must be real or at least in development. I believe technology to produce this phone exists. You simply need to adapt it to this particular shape. It’s not more different from other cell phones. It may be circular from outside, but inside its possible use battery, electronic circuits and even a touch screen in a classic rectangular shape. I admit some problems for an ultra thin speaker around the finger but there are solutions even for that.