A GPHONE DESIGN FOR THE MASSES:
NEXT-GEN TECHNOLOGY MEETS OLD-SCHOOL CHARM
Google’s much-anticipated Android open-source, cell phone software is expected to change the way we use cell phones by empowering consumers with a far wider range of choice. World-recognized industrial design firm, RKS, has created a concept gPhone that’s in perfect keeping with Google’s “less is more” approach to giving consumers exactly what they want.
Up until now, consumers have been at the mercy of cell phone manufacturers and carriers. If you want an iPhone, you have to go with AT&T. If you want LG’s Voyager, it’s Verizon. Under this paradigm, consumer choices are purposefully limited and phone features have even been disabled to preserve revenue streams. Google’s new mobile OS breaks down these barriers. “Android enables… agility and rapid innovation,” says Google’s Andy Rubin. Developers world-wide will at last have the freedom to innovate on the mobile platform, and consumers will reap the rewards by being able to customize their phones to work and look exactly the way they want.
Enter the Mimique, a concept phone by world-recognized, industrial design firm RKS. The Mimique is a response to feature-heavy cell phones that have evolved to the point that you can barely tell they are phones. Playful and engaging, the Mimique’s design marries the heritage of old-school cell phones with next-generation style and technology.
“As beautiful as the iPhone is, it’s hard to tell it from the iTouch iPod. There’s nothing in the iPhone’s form that communicates it’s a cell phone,” says RKS VP of Design, Lance Hussey. “And sometimes, a cell phone is all you need.”
Tech blogger Fred Soto loves Mimique’s “Googlesque” approach to design. “Let’s face it, part of how Google took over the world is it simplified search... with a Google search box.” The Mimique brings that same “less is more” concept to mobile phones. “Think about the possibilities of a simple, flashy design that would be affordable and available for mass consumption,” says Soto. “The Mimique phone design promises to provide a phone for everybody, especially typical consumers that don’t require the extra baggage that comes with newer and more expensive business and entertainment cell phones.”
RKS designers conceived of next generation touch-screen cell phone that harkened back to the cell phone’s early roots. The Mimique’s shape playfully mimics old-school phones that had exposed antennas. Declared “great looking and slim enough to catch a trendsetter’s eye,” by concept-phones.com, the Mimique’s sleek shape is designed to fit comfortably into your hand and slip easily into a pocket.
As Android gives developers freedom to innovate, the Mimique concept gives consumers the freedom to customize as never before. For some, this may mean merely downloading a variety of “skins” to personalize the phone’s graphic interface. For others, it will mean downloading specialized features, programs, and games. Best of all, it means that you’ll no longer be forced to pay for options you don’t want. You get to pick and choose exactly the features you want to create your own perfect phone.
The combination of open-source software and touch-screen technology will also make the Mimique easily upgradable. Today, if someone comes out with new cell phone features, you have to buy a new cell phone to get that feature. But with the Mimique, you’ll just download the new feature to your phone and you’re good to go. This will greatly extend the lifespan of the phone itself, because the features are never locked into the design. With the Mimique, you’ll always have the newest, coolest phone on the block, because it’s the one phone designed to be everything you want and nothing you don’t. The Mimique concept phone is poised to play a whole new game.
RKS is an Industrial Design consultancy offering a full range of strategy, innovation, and design services. Consistently ranked in Business Week's Top 10 Industrial Design firms, RKS has a 27-year legacy of transforming client inspirations and aspirations into powerful business results. The Southern California-based firm specializes in market segments that include medical/dental, consumer electronics, sporting goods, housewares, consumer products, and industrial goods. Its clients include Apple, JBL, Nokia, HP, Intel, Zyliss, Panavision, Medtronic, and many others. RKS has won more than 50 product design awards globally, and has been issued more than 150 patents.