[A Nokia 888, worn] When I imagine an ebook reader, I mainly see a Star Trek PADD before me, but of course reading does not require a rigid, book-like form.

Nokia Benelux organised a Design Awards competition (requires Macromedia Flash plug-in) in which students were asked to come up with a new Nokia phone concept. This year’s winner was Tamer Nakisçi of Istanbul, with his Nokia 888, a slap bracelet made of an e-inkish material that can be used as a phone, a watch and a PDA. His pay-off: “form follows you”. A similar idea was coined at the Halfbakery.

Another interesting design was Joke Theuwissen’s Survi 1, which has a PDA like form factor, but comes in a rugged casing made of aluminium. The phone doubles as a GPS device, a flash light, a compass, an altimeter and more, and is worn on the outside like the iPod Shuffle. Theuwissen based her design on the results of a survey she held amoung outdoorsy young types.

Also check out the Zond, a digital video camera and projector combined, making video telephony a truly mobile thing. But the Zond is a Nokia concept; what I liked about the student designs is that they further commoditize the mobile phone, and yet are still very unique and personal. I can imagine letting these devices lie about, or take a knock.

(Via Digibieb.nl (Dutch).)


  1. The Trek pad is actually what I think of as a perfect eBook reader as well. They look like a good size, and have high-contrast touchscreens.

    I’m not sure about reading a book off my wrist, though – I think myself, and many others, are used to reading physical books, and that’ll be the model for a while to come.

    Once people get used to eBooks as a whole, we can begin to move away from the paper-book roots.

  2. Bingle,

    I agree that the PADD looks like the right size. What I like about the student entries on the Design Awards site though is that they seem to be the product of thoughts about usage and context and possibilities, whereas the PADD is sort of the expected ebook reader: if you’d ask ten people what the future ebook reader looks like, nine would come up with the PADD.

    The PADD looks like its users need to accommodate it, whereas the 888 and the Survy 1 look like they will accommodate their users. They look like everyday devices. Something I noticed about the iPod Shuffle too; you just plug it into your USB port. All gadgets I have come with unwieldy cables to achieve the same. I doubt that most iPod Shuffle users will spend more than ten minutes thinking about the operation of the player during its life span. It’s technology that blends in.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love PADD-like technology, but I am not your average user.

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