Geekend: Blackberry's Passport & Phone Design's Future - InformationWeek

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Geekend: Blackberry's Passport & Phone Design's Future
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jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2014 | 3:49:59 PM
Re: Phone Shapes
Maybe that WAS Blackberry's idea of a "turnaround"  -- they were outside the box thinkers, but that was a long time ago.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/26/2014 | 2:50:08 PM
Re: Phone Shapes
@alison- What is funny about phones today is they work best as anything but a phone. I'm not 100% sure that we've done this on purpose. If I thought we had, maybe I'd be less interested in a new design. We are clearly using our phones as phones less so it is time to address what they are. But they're not tab;ets because we have those. What are they? Backup tablets? Texting devices? I'm not sure.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
9/26/2014 | 2:45:46 PM
Re: Phone Shapes
If I recall correctly, Apple spent a lot of money bringing in Ivey and crew to focus on design and we know the results of that work. That said, there are so many instances where someone totally reinvents a common household device in a bold way and we suddenly realize how much better it is in the new format; surely phones will undergo such a transformation! Think about the early phones, with the separate mouthpiece and dial base. If I knew what that shape was, I'd let you know -- from my private Caribbean island!
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/26/2014 | 12:27:00 PM
Re: Design and functionality
@impactnow- You bring up an excellent point about voice activation. Maybe I'm focused ont he wrong thing. Right now, I don't think voice is good enough to replace my fingers. But it is getting very good. i also like some of the gesture controls I have with my android. Pausing a video with the flick of a wrist is the kind of first step toward hand's free control.

When the fingers stop being needed, there's no reason to shape the phone like anything but a video screen.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/26/2014 | 12:24:37 PM
Re: Phone Shapes
@jastroff- I do believe Blackberry was trying to distinguish themselves and they definitely did that. and i suspect among their core audience there will be fans. But if I were trying to "turnaround" Blackberry, I'd be coming up with a bold design that attracted non-business users. Maybe there just isn't one. Maybe the rectangle is the best we can do without makign the thing too expensive. 
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
9/26/2014 | 12:02:54 PM
Design and functionality

Dave you raise an interesting question, not only from a design perspective but from a functionality perspective. I think it's interesting we don't have an ergonomically designed smartphone that it designed for comfort and usage in the hands. We have found ways around the phones tiny key boards with Siri and other voice activated mechanisms but where is the true design genius of a phone that can be used to comfortably type on and view business as well as personal content effectively. While we are at it can we design a phone with some battery life!: )

jastroff
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50%
jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
9/26/2014 | 10:37:20 AM
Phone Shapes
A long, long time ago, in this galaxy, something called the Palm Pilot was invented. The complaint about it catching on was that nobody would want to walk around carrying a brick-like object. How far we've come.

Was Blackberry trying to be a competitive differentiator? Let's hope that's why they went the way they did. They should win a prize for the worst video. The round phone is unique, but I don't want to confuse it with a tin of Altoids.

How did we wind up with square? Maybe from the Palm Pilot. But I've always liked the Pyramid too.

 

 

 
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