The Bamboo Phone – Free Range Expo

On invitation by emerging new talent Eleanor Litten I attended the Free Range Exhibition this weekend. London based Eleanor Litten is a Graphiste and Illustrator. She specialises in mixed media illustrations using lino print, and technology such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Her awesome illustrations compliment any published material. Also she must have the coolest domain name Her piece in exhibition is a meditative publication. I could easily have spent my time curled up in a corner consuming the illustrations. However that wasn’t an option as this is UK’s largest graduate art and design show and there was a lot to see.

The Bamboo Phone

A couple of pieces really caught my attention. Following the the buzz of creating my last film Free Pixel I have to mention John Peters Bamboo Phone. Much has been reported about the material scarcity in mobile technology. To reduce the use of indium and nikel the Bamboo phone uses electronic ink screens and a bamboo case. John Peters is a 3D designer who studied in South Indian International Schools and Cornwall.

The variety of design, architecture, photography, fashion, art and illustration will keep you enthralled, and with so many ideas fully conceptualised you may even find your next recruit or big idea or both.

Comments on Free Pixel

I am just collecting the various comments (I like) on the Free Pixel film in one place;

rob_white “I’m prepared to be convinced, I just can’t envisage “free pixels”, they will always be bound even if the boundary is flexible”

Roghaydonmitch “Those of us with gifts and power to link imagination and technology could devote ourselves to making it freely available”

followdontstalk “Check out — Free Pixels… wow! this is my media teacher loool but well worth a watch! :)”

Net (on facebook) “My favourite bit.. “like so much silver dust”. Pause … Cheeky grin. Great!”

C Gyford (on facebook) “Free the pixels imprisoned in yet another horrendous miscarriage of justice!”

R Marr (on facebook) “Nice 🙂 As Frank Herbert shows in his Dune books, when the form of technology surpasses its functional requirements strange things will happen!”

J-J Guest “Amazing – love the music and well done for getting that 281 frame effects shot done on time!”

D McAdam “I really loved the poetic quality you guys put into the script and the effects were very sweet, bringing the “freedom” to life.”

My Mobile Phone

I got my first phone in 1995. It was a massive Motorola brick. It was so heavy it wore out all the pockets in my jeans. My phone needed to be smaller or my jeans stronger.

As the century rolled over my mobile phone finally become tiny. Small. Beautiful. It broke, if dropped once. I connected it to my HP PDA and used it to download email and news content. Juggling both devices and my non existent iPod meant something would be dropped sooner or later. In a rush at Gatwick airport I smashed my lovely PDA and blamed the phone. When would I get a single device that could provide all the software a modern women needed ?

2009 and now all those devices are merged and in a single device. I drop my iPhone all the time. It bounces, scratches but stays intact. Just. It still isn’t good enough. It doesn’t scale. Isn’t fit for purpose. Apple tells me I need an iPad and iMac. I need a TV and Radio and Games Console. In fact I need phone. As my iPhone doesn’t really make great phone calls.

At each stage I knew what I wanted and it wasn’t available. When it finally arrived it wasn’t good enough, I was by then ready for the next device. My imagination far out paces what can be delivered in the market place. Yet I do nothing about it. I wait and hope that the corporate machine will catch up. It doesn’t.

Future Technology for Mobile Phone’s

I have spent the summer looking at how we could create a mobile phone of my dreams (and hopefully yours).  The results of which feature in a small concept film called Free Pixel.

My research focuses on the geometery of the mobile phone (or form factor). History has produced a series of phones which are rigid or have a moving part (such as flip phones).

I however am looking for form factor that is extensible, a single device that has a display that is the size I require to do the job in hand.

This Samsung phone is a great starting point. I love how is looks like an old ‘skool’ (by which I mean 2003) phone and folds open into a square screen.

For a number of years my friends and some clients have been waiting for a paper like digital screen to replace their newspaper and books. These screens are robust and have great display for example sony have a form factor that they are showing off currently.

Our research also led us to Displax product Skin. It is completely transparent and works on surfaces that are also transparent such as glass. This hardware operates via a grid of nanowires embedded Skin’s polymer film. Each time a user makes contact with the surface “a small electrical disturbance is detected allowing the micro-processor controller to pinpoint the movement”.  Probably not likely to make a great mobile phone in the near future. Unless we carry glass screen around with us at all time. mmm maybe.

For a different take on mobile phones what about one that projects tactile images onto the surface of the phone. The New Scientist described one in Sep this year.

So then we turned our attention to projection technology. Firstly I was inspired by this Ted Talk which shows how a mobile phone and projector can be combined to make an extensible device.

And also from MIT is this device which hasn’t had nearly enough online buzz about it;

These project concepts were extended by Mozilla Labs in their concept phone video.

So where is this all leading ? Well I want a mobile phone that really works and made my own concept film called Free Pixel.