We occasionally cover concepts for mobile phones – they may never leave the drawing board, but their designers often dream up of interesting new features that might one day make it to actual devices.
This design is by Baek Kil Hyun (a student at the Samsung Art & Design Institute) and it’s called 360 Compact Mobile Phone (hey, the guy’s a designer, not a copywriter). His imaginary product implements two flips that are also displays and do what the iPad 2’s Smart covers do, except… they are better.
Before you run to the comments to post “rip-off!” I’ll just point out that the design was posted a day before the iPad 2 was announced.
Anyway, the 360 Compact Mobile Phone (which I’ll call “the 360” for, uh, compactness) features a protective cover on the front, which splits into two equal pieces. They flip open to reveal the screen and are in fact screens themselves.
Unlike Smart covers, the flips on the 360 not only serve as kickstands or display covers but expand the screen size and can display special menus (check out Standing and Multitasking mode).
360 Compact Mobile Phone concept
Standing mode shows some shortcuts but I think it would have been more clever if it worked as a software keyboard – it won’t be as comfortable as a physical keyboard but still, slightly better than having the virtual keyboard cover up part of the screen. A keyboard that lays flat on the table while the screen is oriented towards you sounds good too.
There are of course some downfalls of the design (like no part of the display is visible when the flips are closed, which makes checking the time or Caller ID annoying) but would you like a touchscreen-packing, protective flap on your phone? Something like an uber Sony Ericsson P900 but with a touchscreen on the flap?