Former Apple CEO John Sculley unveiled yesterday, at the Consumer Electronics Expo, his company’s vision for a high-end, consumer home phone. “The iPhone of Home Phones,” sings PC Magazine of the device known as OpenFrame.
Unfortunately for Sculley and Verizon, the approach shown in the press photos is approximately as appropriate for the context of a desktop phone as a twelve-inch clickwheel is for a home stereo.
Really. Beginning somewhere around the app launcher that borrows only the iPhone’s aesthetic, ruining its meaning by expanding the icon-grid interface into an unsorted mess of similar, randomly-colored squares, and ending somewhere around the humorous mental image of an actual human being sitting before the suggested image of a Harry Potter film playing, his 46″ plasma undoubtedly sitting unused across the living room, it is somewhat difficult to imagine the OpenFrame being either a terribly usable or useful device.
Which is where most bloggers and disgruntled designers would stop. But not I, dear reader; so impressed was I at the deceptive aesthetics of this poorly designed device, I decided I could conceive of better in one evening. And so, staying up a bit too late, I believe I may have.
The first order of business was to simplify the handset. There is no need to give the handset the interactive possibilities of an entire cellular phone; it need only tell the user its battery and signal strength, allowing calls to be terminated or placed from the directory. My spec calls for a monochrome OLED display, far cheaper to manufacture than OpenFrame’s full color LCD.
Secondly, I dispensed with the featureset that, between a TV and a computer (in both of which I would hope you would invest prior to making a purchase such as this phone) is superfluous and wasteful, concentrating on functionality that is either required by the nature of a phone or useful given the temporal nature of the data and the appliance nature of the phone.
Finally, I expanded these features into a UI that displays and organizes the information in a way requiring less hunting and fewer taps.
And so we have it. The ns.ae. phone. I’d buy one. Once I take care of the TV, that is.
Marshmallow photo by Zimpenfish
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