Exploring a Web Phone: Getting Physical
As part of the Concept Series, we’ve been playing with what a phone that is optimized for the Web. That is the web.
We’ve been working with Billy May, just like we’ve been working dozens of other talented designers as part of the Concept Series, to envision what such a beast looks like from a physical perspective. He’s got some initial sketches of what an phone with a change-on-the-fly OLED keyboard would look like. It’s a throw-away first concept and I know that we’ll see additional concepts from Billy May and other Concept Series participants soon.
I’m not normally a fan of changeable/contextual keys — you end up with a buttons that change in the night, but if executed very carefully with strong guidelines they can provide a platform for physical innovation. They can provide the benefits of a touch screen with actual tactile feedback.
I’m also happy to say that Billy’s work on envisioning an open Web phone was picked up by NPR. Mozilla Lab’s is its community, and it’s exciting that main-stream press is starting to pick up on that by highlighted the virtual members of our team.
Here’s the interview from Future Tense:
One of the strengths of the iPhone as a platform for user experience innovation is the wealth of physical inputs: a microphone, a camera, an accelerometer, a GPS, and a touch screen. That gives the freedom to make our interfaces more human, by allowing us to interact in physical, personal ways.
Question: What are the physical aspects of a phone that you think are missing? What would your “Mozilla Phone” look like?