LG Japan organized a design competition for concept mobile phones – and the aesthetic mock-ups were shown at the Tokyo Design Week sometime back. The winner (pictured at the top) is called the Planet Phone:
[It is] a circular clamshell-style handset that features numerous LEDs embedded into the top half of the phone. Each of the small lights represents one of your friends. Those you keep in contact with remain near the center, but as you slowly lose touch with people they drift towards the edge and eventually off the display altogether. It’s supposed to prompt you to keep in touch with friends and remind you when you haven’t spoken to someone for a while.
At least in the concept phone arena, there does seem to be a trend towards making the phone less like a digital, consumer electronics but more poetic and metaphorical, such as those qualities displayed here by the Planet Phone.
Personally for me some of the other concepts didn’t feel too fresh – there have been concepts like these for some time now (at least from what I can see and infer from the image/descriptions. From top left, “Temperature” phone where your contacts are in the format of physical tiles that can be exchanged and used to compose your own unique phone; “Ring” with a rotary dial that doubles up as the camera viewfinder; “Tap” where you can switch between modes by flipping it like a light switch and “fbt” with Braille input/output.
[PC World has the write-up]