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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solar Panels Could Resurrect the Passe Flip Phone

The Chinese telecom giant's award-winning "Double" cell phone design updates the traditional flip phone for a solar-powered future.

Are flip phones passé in a post-iPhone world? Chinese telecom company ZTE doesn't think so: their concept for the "Double" phone, which sports solar panels on both sides of its attractive clamshell body, just won a prestigious 2010 Red Dot Design Concept award.

The insight is simple: If cell phone batteries suck, why not put the flip-phone's extra real estate -- especially the part that's waving around untouched in midair when you hold it -- to use powering the device itself? And so what if your hand is covering up half the available solar cells when you're dialing or talking -- it's still better than nothing. The tradeoff is that when the phone is sitting around in standby, you can angle it so that the photovoltaic shell draws in the most life-giving rays possible.

Even better, the Double's full-flex hinge lets you place the phone's 3.2-inch LCD screen in an optimal position for hands-free reading or video-viewing. It's manufactured from recyclable materials and even has a touchscreen interface, so you won't feel left out in a crowd full of glass slabs.
Source: Fast Company
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