While I was on the train coming back from London on Saturday I had a sudden moment of inspiration. Several years ago, when mobile phones were just starting to become popular, I drew a pictre of what I predicted would be the smallest phone possible. As it turns out, I wasn’t far wrong. I basically drew the smallest keypad I could comfortably get my fingers round, and had a screen popping up from inside. Mobile technology today has taken that principle the other way round – now keypads flip out from underneath the screen. But the overall size is still pretty much the same size as what I predicted all those years ago.
So here comes my idea – a mobile phone watch. Now, I know this isn’t a completely original idea, in that I expect several people have come up with that idea before, but let me show you what I mean. Below you’ll find a picture I drew to try to illustrate this. The general idea is that because we wear watches all the time it seems to make sense to make use of that and put a mobile phone there. You wouldn’t have to hold your wrist to your face though, Bluetooth hands-free headsets are all the rage, so you’d just need one of those instead. The watch face would be replaced by a circular screen, which would display the time when it wasn’t being used as a phone, but would show up like a small computer when being used.
Now here’s the nifty bit – the keys. First of all, let’s take the principle of the touch sensitive scrollers used on the iPod and put that round 70% of the watch. Because it’s touch sensitive, pressing in particular places will do different things, and will also allow you to scroll down a long text message. For instance, numbers could be entered by pressing on the locations of those numbers on a clockface, with 1-9 being as you’d expect and 12 acting as 0. If we can get our heads around that, we can assign the letters to each number as you’d find on a normal keypad and allow for text messaging. Then you’ve got a menu button at the bottom of the watch, a YES key at the top right and a NO key at the bottom right.
Pretty revolutionary, don’t you think? And of course because we are using a Bluetooth headset for sound we can also play MP3s through that too. Obviously photos and videos would be a bit of an issue, what with the circular screen, but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless. If any phone manufacturers out there like my idea, please let me know and I’ll sell it to you…