sketch / image
  • 2006.07
for NEC

This mobile phone handset was a collaboration with NTT DoCoMo and NEC. We wanted a product that felt accessible and close to home, so we used the concept of a drinking glass, a form familiar to the hand. We cast the phone in two layers of transparent and coloured resins to give a sense of transparency and depth. The indicator lights that signal an incoming call or text message move like bubbles, representing both bubbles in a drink and the way that information transmits from inside to outside. The earphone jack lets the user “drink up” music like you would put a straw in your glass. Both the inner and outer casings are interchangeable so that users can match the phone’s contents to its form, just like we would choose a coffee mug for coffee, a teacup for tea, and a glass for water, and the options panel gives users a choice of eight different screen colours. The interface uses triple-axel speed sensors to give a “liquid” effect. When you stand up the handset and then turn it over, an hourglass starts automatically. When you shake it, the alarm stops. When you lean it towards another handset, information “pours” from one handset to the other just as we would pour liquid. The screen rocks in response to motion, and the “water level” goes down as the battery runs out. These are some of the features in our experiment to create a consistently sensory design.

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Photographer : Masayuki Hayashi