The Future Of Cell Phones

Designers around the world are busy designing the next generation of cell phones that will still drop calls - but look exceptionally cool doing it.

Here's one design that reminds me of the data goggles from Neal Stephensons' 1992 novel Snow Crash.


(Nokia's next cell phone/game system?)

Here's another design that engages sight, sound, smell and touch. The intent of the design is that it can both detect and emit odors, as well as radiate colors, light and temperature from the caller's environment - helping you stay in touch.


(Touch your caller by phone)

The idea that you could identify a caller by some combination of touch and smell reminds me of the amazing capabilities of science fiction writer Frederik Pohl's Joymaker, a combination phone and PDA from his prescient 1966 novel The Age of the Pussyfoot. In the novel, Forrester is brought back to life from cryonic storage; he is not quite prepared for the capabilities of his Joymaker phone, which politely asks if he is ready to pick up his message from a Miss Bensen.

Forrester did not know what to expect but was pleasantly ready for anything.

What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible. There was a hint of perfumed breath, then a pressure on the lips - warm and soft, moist and sweet.

Startled, he touched his mouth. "How the devil did you do that?" he shouted.

"Sensory stimulation through the tactile net, Man Forrester..." (Read more about the phone with the tactile net kiss)

Cell phone design is advancing along all fronts; take a look at WolframTones Cell Phone Tones from cellular automata and the Origami cell phone concept. Take a look at more of these futuristic cell phone designs here, here and here.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/20/2006)

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