Do you enjoy gangs of tiny, spider-like robot insectoids swarming all over your house, car, or personage? If you answered “yes,” you’re going to love what BAE Systems is cooking up. The company recently received an infusion of $38 million from the US Army Research Lab to fund the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) consortium; a team of scientists and researchers hell-bent on developing an “autonomous, multifunctional collection of miniature intelligence-gathering robots that can operate in places too inaccessible or dangerous for humans.” Sure, that description (and accompanying photos, straight from BAE) does give you the impression that whoever came up with this really liked Minority Report, but won’t it make you feel safer at night knowing a swarm of metallic spiders are looking out for you? No? Huh, weird.
[Via The Register]
Nokia’s new Morph concept phone would use nanotechnology to give it a flexible body with a transparent display that could be re-shaped depending on the user’s needs, a far cry from today’s solid and chunky devices. Even the electronics inside it would be transparent and flexible, so the whole phone may be twisted and stretched into bracelet shapes or tablet form, and nanotech cleverness means it would even clean itself. Developed in cooperation with Cambridge University, this glimpse of a distant future is now on display at the MoMA in New York. [Unwiredview]
Designer Fred De Garilhe was apparently thinking more about makeup packaging and jewelry than cell phones when he designed this Chanel Choco phone concept. The slim slider collapses into a square piece of shiny glass, festooned with a latticework that suggest segments of a chocolate bar, but this one’s all lit up with fancy fiber optics. Out the side slides a quartet of function keys, and when the screen slides up, the numerals furtively peek through the reflective surface.
Isn’t this is a pretty concept? We’re wondering what old Coco Chanel would have actually thought of it, complete with its delicate chain sporting her famous initials nonchalantly suspended from one corner. No word whether the Chanel company would actually be willing to lend its name to such a beautiful bauble. The perfume maker can probably take its time mulling over that decision, because the tech necessary to build this elegant design might not be practical just yet.
Here’s a concept envisioned by Rune Larson, the “Eclipse Design Phone”. It features only the bare necessities, comes with an illuminated keypad and a display that conveniently slides into the case when it is not in use. This phone is suitable for those who don’t play with their phone and for those who wants a ‘phone-use only’ type of mobile phone.
Just when we thought we’d seen it all in the way of concept cell-phone designs, NEC comes out and surprises us. The company’s Design division has thought up the “tag” — a phone that has more in common with Gumby than the slick, shiny phones of today. Made of rubbery “shape-memorizing” material, the tag will bend and twist at your command. Forget extra armbands — the thing is an armband. It’s too bad the tag is just a concept right now, as it would be the perfect phone for the forgetful and the accident-prone. Once NEC gets this into production (no plans right now, apparently), you can bet it’ll have to prove its mettle overseas before it makes it over here. You know, like every other mobile phone ever made.