Imagine if you will, a phone with no buttons, no number pad, no slider no front and not back. Instead, every surface of the handset is a fully functional touchscreen allowing you customize your home screen but every physical surface on the phone. Far fetched? Of course. Is it possible? Nokia seems to think so…
Nokia, the most popular thing to come out of Finland since… well… ever debuted their new concept phone chameleon, the Nokia Gem, at the 25th anniversary of their Nokia Research Center. Of course, the concept sound gimmicky- one phone, a complete touchscreen- but the possibilities it would create are fascinating. Regardless what application or function you wanted to use, be it camera, telephone, GPS,etc, the Gem would change it's appearance to better fit to your needs. Need a GPS map of your current area to find a new restaurant? Open it up on the front of the phone. But wait, do you still need a memo that you wrote to help you find the address? Open it up on the back panel. Still have some room leftover on the side? Slap a couple of Google places reviews of the restaurant on the phones edge so you know what to order.
Granted, this is only a concept phone so we don't even know if it will ever go into production or if it will run Android but who cares? Nokia has beaten the odds and caused mobile revolution more then once, so it's nice to see that the legacy company is still trying to probe the boarders of the possible.
Senior Design Manager Jarkko Saunamäki explains the concept behind the Nokia Gem "Currently, if you start an App like the camera app, the phone still looks like a mobile phone, but with the Gem the phone reacts to the application and the whole phone takes on the appearance of a camera." While this opens up a wide veracity of visual applications, what I find most intriguing is the new interactive possibilities an interface like this would present. To quote Mr. Saunamäki, the Nokia Gem would be "The ultimate adaptable device. There are no predefined visual elements. If you play a game it could look and function like a game pad. It's called GEM because like a real polished gem it has many facets. And it's also a concept that requires as much polishing as a real stone to turn it into a product."
The concept video below does a nice job illustrating some of the possible uses for the new concept phone. If you want to get an idea of just how revolutionary this technology could be (if it ever gets to market) check the short clip provided by Nokia.
Think a concept like this could take off? Or is it just a pipe dream? Let us know in the comments or our forum!