Monday, October 15, 2007

Motorola exec sees phones getting personal

Motorola's take on future UX with cell phones ...

"Thanks to the wonders of materials science, your future mobile phone may change its color depending on the time of day or what you're wearing.

It's almost certain to change its touch-screen face, presenting you with the familiar look of a music or video player, a camera, or even a plain old phone pad as the need arises.

How a person interacts with his or her phone, and how personal that experience is, are among the key factors Jim Wicks sees driving the design of the devices going ahead.

One reason is that mobile phones have become, in essence, a part of our person, said Wicks, creator of Motorola's MOTORAZR V3 and MOTORAZR2 phones, during a speech Monday at the University of Illinois.

"They will leave their house without their money, because you can borrow some money," Wicks joked. "But they will not leave their mobile phone.

"This is the thing you carry with you all the time," he said.

Wicks spoke at the UI in connection with Designmatters, a campuswide lecture series organized by the School of Art and Design and sponsored by the provost's office and the colleges of Engineering and Fine and Applied Arts.

The series explores the interdisciplinary mixing of design, engineering, technology and business to create innovative products and services.

Wicks, Motorola's corporate vice president and director of consumer experience design and a UI industrial design graduate, said color and design are already the two biggest items most people consider when buying a phone, given that the devices are generally similar in functionality. The fashion-model sleek – some might even say sexy–MOTORAZR series sold more than 24 million units around the world last year.

When Wicks, who formerly worked for Sony, talks about "convergence" in mobile phones, he isn't necessarily talking about the devices taking on more general-purpose computer-like and multimedia functions, although he obviously sees that happening.

He also sees convergence as meaning the successful marriage of the phone as an object of self-expression and the phone as an object with a utilitarian purpose – or, more accurately, purposes – in our lives."    (Continued via The News-Gazette)    [Usability Resources]

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