Tag Archives: Mobile Phone

Watch this : Do you really need to switch off your phone on the plane ?

All mobile phones these days come with a “flight mode” and when you put this on to flight mode, all connections that transmit or receive are turned off. Be it WiFi or Bluetooth, GSM, GPRS all the modes of communication are closed off and are kept as a feature for usage by companies as many airlines insist on switching these off especially during take off and landing. Not only do they ask passengers to turn off connections they also insist on switching off these days. On my recent trip to India, flying on Emirates, I found myself telling a fellow passenger to switch off his phone as well and had a bit of an argument with him as well.

Nokia Mobile Phone

Emirates is quite a progressive airline allowing people to make and receive calls during flights but even they insist these ceremonies during take off and landing. Once I landed in Dubai and when I have started to look back at the trip I am beginning to think if it is actually required to switch off phones, not just take them to “flight mode” even in this day and age.

Before I present my justification, I think you all should see this video :

First things first most airlines including Emirates Airlines do not really understand the “flight mode” in mobile phones, considering that Android is the most popular Operating Phones these days and Android has the flight mode feature since the early inceptions of the OS, it is clear that Airlines need to pay attention to this setting, considering it was made for them.

Secondly a search trying to find if the mobiles actually cause disruptions in the signal of the sophisticated commercial airliners to today, comes up with some interesting conclusions, here is what I found out. Logic says that Airlines would not let us carry phones if it did, take the scenario that liquids over 100 ml could be mixed to make explosives, so they don’t let us carry more than 100ml. If this was the case with cell phones, they would not have let us carry these. Instead, an arbitrary set of rules established by the FAA and extended by the airlines prohibits iPods during takeoff, but explicitly allow electric shavers to be used during flight.

What about the regulations ? 

The governing body for Airlines and Airports, IATA mentioned in a study commissioned in 1993, suggested that airlines prohibit the use of personal electronic devices during takeoff and landing, despite a lack of evidence that these gadgets had caused a single accident.

In Nov 2009, the Federal Airlines Authority (FAA) of the US again mentioned in an immediate release that ”there is insufficient information to support a wholesale change in policies that restrict use of PEDs.” The actual rule from FAA on this is here :

§ 121.306   Portable electronic devices.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any U.S.-registered civil aircraft operating under this part.
(b) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to—
(1) Portable voice recorders;
(2) Hearing aids;
(3) Heart pacemakers;
(4) Electric shavers; or
(5) Any other portable electronic device that the [airline] has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used.
(c) The determination required by paragraph (b)(5) of this section shall be made by that [airline] operating the particular device to be used.
[Doc. No. FAA–1998–4954, 64 FR 1080, Jan. 7, 1999]

The FAA has since approved the use of Wi Fi inside the planes, and also for communicating with Airports and control towers, the frequencies of which (2.4 Ghz) have a similar effect. So based on which your iPhone or Nokia might crash the plane but not your laptop using WiFi ??

The other reasoning 

The other reasoning is that people do not pay attention to the announcements that the crew is making, or the captain is making during take off or landing and thus is a danger eventually. Well I should say good point there, but this should be forced on to your screens at the back of the seat anyway like what Emirates and other carriers do. How are we to trust someone telling us that reading a iPad document during takeoff is dangerous as we stare across a field of EMI-spewing LCD seat-back screens? Or the pilots wearing the digital watches on their wrists much closer to all the gadgets.

Another justification seems that there are those who don’t switch off even after saying it, so everyone should switch off everything. But well if there is no proof that people using these gadgets can cause a risk, then well it should not matter now does it.

The last one seems more like it, people do not want to listen to other people rant even if it means to a loved one. People want to fly and read or reflect on their thoughts when they do so. So if its a way to  ”Shut up and fly” then well that is something understandable.

My verdict after reading this : Its a Dumb rule

More interesting Read : 

phone-stacking-game-viral-dinner-game

Phone stacking, you really need to know about this.

In my recent memory I cannot remember the day when I left the house without my mobile phone. Our lives are more or less run my Mobile Phones. Being in construction, the entire “coordination” for all activities on site / engineering and others actually relies completely on Mobile Phones. This gets even worse with fields like sales, events where constant updates change the game. The additional usage gets worse when you include such devils as the BBM into the equation. Although I use it in my opinion it is a plague to the society. From movies to the dinner table including first dates, people all over the place seem to be using their phones.

One annoying habit that seems to be very common is people sitting with friends or family and are on the phone chatting, checking emails etc to be somewhere else. And this is not just work related stuff (some people are justified with that). So in another out of box thinking a new solution has appeared online, from tumblers to now the bigger blogs all are talking about Phone Stacking.

I ’ve seen/heard this described as both “The Phone Stacking Game” and “Don’t Be a Dick During Meals”, but a quick  poll of my friends suggests that it hasn’t become widespread yet. Which is a shame, because it’s perfect for folks in tech. Interested to learn more ?

Rules:

1) The game starts after everyone has ordered.

2) Everybody places their phone on the table face down.

3) The first person to flip over their phone loses the game.

4) Loser of the game pays for the bill.

5) If the bill comes before anyone has flipped over their phone everybody is declared a winner and pays for their own meal.

Variations/house rules:

-Starting the game after everyone is seated.

-In the rare event that multiple people flip their phones simultaneously, the bill is split between said players.

- Feel free to invoke penalties/strikes systems.

Notes:

- No touching or messing with anybody else’s phones.

You can explain the game in a few different ways. Most obviously, it could be a protest against the indecent, unthinking use of cell phones during social gatherings. Or maybe it’s a game that acknowledges the new reality and tests your willpower accordingly. Personally, I like to think of it as a free market exercise. After all, people love to say, “Sorry, but I have to take this.” Do you have toanswer it? Really? Is it that important to you? Great, then you can pay.

 

Siri-iPhone-4S-Assistant-625x417

How To Use An iPhone 4s Application To Manage Your Finances

The new iPhone 4S, amazing, capable of more than anything before it, and its able to help you manage your finances as well?  I thought coming up with Siri was a major accomplishment, and now Siri can help you manage your finances. Let’s take a look Siri and what it offers in the way of financial management:

Siri is an Intelligent Assistant that just debuted in the newest Apple iPhone, the 4s.  It allows you to give voice commands and receive the information your looking for such as a local restaurant, text, phone call, weather forecast, and so much more.

Pay bills on time:

You can ask Siri to remind you of upcoming payments, including amount and due date.  You can even set an alarm so that you can’t forget a payment is due, and sync her with the newest application RememberTheMilk so you can organize your financial obligations as well as important dates.

Keep track of stock rates:

Even though Siri cannot give you ‘insider’ information, it can certainly let you know what your stock is doing, by answering a simple question, such as ‘How are Coca Cola’ stocks doing?  You can get the latest stock updates on any stock that you choose.

Find closest ATM or Bank:

This is what Siri is best at – finding locations and giving you options.  But if you ask for a specific bank, you can get that address and location as well.

Personal finances:

When you’re out shopping, having lunch or just out spending money, Siri can tell you whether you’re close to your spending limit in your bank account, or if you’re over your budget.  Installing a third party sync to Siri of your bank account through a site such as Mint.com, can help you from overspending.

Moneystrands:

This is an amazing iPhone app that can give you all of your bank and credit card balances, all in one place.  And, offers a pretty up to date budget tool.  I can’t tell you how convenient this is, when we’re used to having to call the credit card companies to get balances before we charge.

This is a free app and can be found at moneystrands.

Pageonce Personal Assistant:

This allows financial monitoring from your iPhone, with access to bank, credit card and brokerage accounts from your phone.  It allows you to access all of your bills, in one simple app, and you can pay them from Pageonce as well.

One of the greatest features of this app is that it is secure, with top security measures taken, you can do your banking, financial monitoring, and bill paying all in the safety of your phone.

Best of all – it’s FREE!  

Pocket Money:

This isn’t a free app, however, its not expensive.  Last check it was $1.99 and will probably go down from there.

This little app does so much, such as tracking accounts, budgeting, keeping track of spending and it actually backs up and exports financial data.  It can handle split transactions and exports data to programs such as Quicken.

Bloomberg:

If you’re an investor, this is the app for you!  The Bloomberg iPhone app offers investment tools and real-time portfolio tracking, all for free.

You can also receive news, according to date and time, and it is available in 12 different languages.

And… it is free here!

PayPal:

You can send money from your iPhone through your account on PayPal.  If that person is on your contact list in your phone, you can send them cash.  And, there are over 190 currencies available, and in 16 different languages.

This is also a free application – PayPal -

Shopping Budgeter:

This little app, Gift List Budget Shopper, can actually help you save money by budgeting for gift giving, finding the cheapest price for the product you’re looking for as well as locate it for you, and conduct product searches online.

It integrates with your address book and maps, creates lists that can be exported to the spreadsheet of your choice, and can be backed up.

Gift List Budget Shopper isn’t free, last check, $3.99 and reviews state it is worth every penny!

Currency Converter:

This handy app will help you know exactly what you’re being charged in that bistro in France, or in nearly 200 other countries.

You can convert currency rates in seconds on this ACTCurrency iPhone Currency Converter, and never wonder whether you over paid again.

And, as a bonus, since the rates change regularly, you can get updated exchange rates via wi-fi while you’re travelling.

And, the cost –  .99 cents.

This is yet another Guest Post from one of the readers. Ally is part of the team that manages personal finance guides in Sydney, Australia, which provide tips about Budgeting Planner and Way tso Save Money. Before joining BS & HSTM, she was a Media Planner in McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign. Please get in touch with me using the contact page, if you want to contribute to the blog. 

I want you to turn off your cell phone

Cell Phone Etiquette – someone should really make some rules

Cell Phones are everywhere; nearly all of us have one. In fact during an earlier post on wordless Thursday, we did manage to look at the overall numbers of cell phones and usage statistics which were quite shocking. So, it is absolutely great right, everyone has a cell phone, loved ones are closer? Yes it is. But like everything good in this world when it comes to technology, there is a dark side. Cell phone etiquette.

People somehow do not really seem to know when is it acceptable and not acceptable to use a cell phone. Although I know some of you might think that it’s a free world and there are no written rules for cell phone usage, I still believe that some people should have. Mind you I am not talking about life safety here, like talking on the phone while driving, or using your phone during your wedding anniversary (ask me, it is life threatening), but generally using the phone, the when, where and how. Good cell phone etiquette involves following some simple guidelines of common courtesy when using a cell phone in public, designed to make those spaces enjoyable to all.

I want you to turn off your cell phone

All of us have been annoyed by the guys who talk like their voice would reach the other person even without the phone, the guys who think that technology is still in the late 80’s where we had to scream into the mouthpiece of a wired phone, inside a booth lovingly also known as the Standard Trunk Dial Booth (STD). Yes, we are told the issues that they have even if we don’t really want to hear about it. Be it Private conversations, arguments of details of meetings or even what they just are, things that don’t really want to know. Add to this inappropriate ringtones in places where they are not to be used.

People these days put up sign boards for people not to use their cell phones in certain places, like places of worship, government offices, meetings etc. But you do have the regular rings from the careless people. So people have actually got fed up and have started installing cell phone jammers in these places. These devices knock cell phone users off their lines and prevent a reconnection with the cell tower until the user wanders out of range. The rate at which jammers are selling speaks to the lack of manners among the chatters. If you’re wondering what you can do to contribute to a more polite society, cell phone etiquette can be boiled down to 7 simple guidelines according to me:

1. When a Private Conversation Isn’t Possible. Intimate public settings such as restaurants, public restrooms, waiting rooms, hallways, buses, subways or anywhere a private conversation is not possible is a bad place for a cell phone conversation. To practice good cell phone etiquette, put the ringer on vibrate or silent mode and let the call roll over to voice mail. If it’s an important call, step outside or to a secluded area to return the call. If that’s not possible and you must take the call, keep your voice low and the conversation brief. Let the caller know you’ll get back to them when you’re able.

2. Lights Out, Phone Off. Phones should be turned off in movie theaters, playhouses, observatories or any other public place that creates an atmosphere to transport the imagination of the audience. People pay good money to be entertained and a ringer breaks the illusion.

3. Modulate Your Voice. Cell phones have sensitive microphones that can pick up a very soft voice while blocking out ambient noise. Yelling into a cell phone is not necessary. When people are nearby, be considerate and keep your voice low, your tone unemotional and even, and your conversation private. Arguing or airing dirty laundry in public is very poor human behavior let alone cell phone etiquette.

4. Observe the 10-foot Proximity Rule. Maintain a distance of at least 10-feet (3 meters) from the nearest person when talking on a cell phone. No matter how quietly you speak, if standing too close to others they are forced to overhear your personal business.

5. Love the One you’re with. It’s rude to take a cell phone call on a date or during a social engagement with others. It’s also inconsiderate to take a call in the middle of a conversation. If the caller were present he or she would likely wait to politely interrupt at a more appropriate time. Let the call roll to voice mail and return it later.

6. Drive Now, Talk Later. Multitasking isn’t always a good thing. Some evidence shows that accidents are on the rise due to cell phone use. Most calls can wait until you’ve reached your destination, and if a call is upsetting or distracting pull over to have the conversation.

7. Use Common Sense. Turn off your phone before a job interview, presentation, or boardroom meeting. Leave it off at funerals, weddings, or anyplace a quiet atmosphere is mandated, such as a courthouse, library, museum, or place of worship.

Cell phone etiquette is just a matter of being considerate of others, which pays off for everyone; sooner or later.

 

x5_big01

World’s Cheapest Android Phone – IDEOS

From the beginning of the Android ecosystem, a lot of people have been pushing Android to be the one competitor that can match the flexibility and the feature list of the iOS (iPhone) ecosystem. And all of them have been right, it is everything that a competitor needs to be for the iPhone. Its robust, has the apps, more updates, better online connectivity and great hardware from various manufacturers to match the price.

I have been singing the same song as well, however in the past few months I have also pondered over the possibility of Android overtaking Symbian for world wide mobile phone domination :) Now I am completely convinced that the Android operating system would be ideal to replace the Symbian operating system. First of all you would ask me why ? Well first and foremost its free, open source and not connected to any big player (Google is not evil on this blog) with an agenda. Secondly, the cost of development on the android is on a steady decline making it cheaper to develop specific applications etc for the Android simpler, cost effective and viable. This makes Android an awesome competition to the Symbian. But most Symbian phones (the Nokias) are made for the less expensive markets, and Android Phones tend to be expensive.

Most Android Phones, tend to be expensive because of the touch screen, and related hardware. Most phones that Nokia provides for the less expensive markets do not really have touch screens, wi fi or other expensive components. So, your next question would be is it remotely possible to have an android phone today that is not expensive. The answer to that question is yes.

I just received an email from a social media marketing firm windchimes.co.in, introducing me to this product. Normally I am not one who writes reviews for the sake of writing it, but I looked at the phone and the features that it packed. I wanted to write about it. Enter, IDEOS from Huawei, yes those guys who are famous for networking components. Why was I exited, first of all its the world’s cheapest Android Phone that still includes the touch screen and related features. Yes, its not as cheap as your Nokia 3200 which does not have any smartphone features, but this is comparable to any real smart phone. To tell you more about what got me exited, here are some specifications of the phone.

The IDEOS X5

  • 3.8” 800×480 TFT Capacitive Touch
  • Support multi-touch
  • Auto rotate (G-sensor)

Connectivity

  • BT 2.1 (A2DP)
  • Micro USB (High Speed USB)
  • A-GPS/Compass
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 4G Memory

Frequency

  • UMTS 900/2100MHz
  • HSUPA 5.76Mbps,HSDPA 7.2Mbps (U8800)
  • HSUPA 5.76Mbps,HSPA+ 14Mbps(U8800H)

Battery1500mAh Lithium PolymerCore Value

  • HSPA speed with high performance
  • High quality video playback
  • Capture 720p real life

Internet

  • Google Native browser
  • Streaming Audio & Video
  • Support more markup (XHTML/HTML/WML)

Media

  • 5 Mega pixel Camera AF with Flash
  • 720p Video recording and playback
  • SRS professional audio effect

Applications

  • GMS (like Google Mail, Google talk, Youtube )
  • Google Maps with street view
  • Integrated phonebook with Facebook
  • E-book reader: Aldiko
  • Smart search Local & Internet : Servo Search
  • Office & PDF reader: Roadsync
  • Microsoft® Exchange Email solution : Roadsync

Here is an extract of the press statement that they had made.

… an affordable smartphone powered by the latest iteration of AndroidTM2.2 (also known as ‘Froyo’). The smartphone is priced between US$100 and US$200, depending on the market. IDEOS redefines the “entry-level” concept by combining high-quality hardware and software with a high price-to-performance ratio. IDEOS will be released in a number of countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and Latin America. …

… it boasts downlink speeds of more than 7.2Mb/s, offers WCDMA + WiFi dual network support, and offers ubiquitous mobile broadband services. The device also doubles as a WiFi router for up to eight devices at a time, making IDEOS an all-in-one solution for a range of wireless connectivity options…

Here are some videos of the phone concept and some features as well.

The Story of IDEOS

Official videos of the Phone

You can check out more videos on their YouTube channel here : http://www.youtube.com/HuaweiIdeosIndia. If you are interested to read more about the Phones, you can check out the website here : IDEOS Website. More about Huawei here.

Blackberry Bold 9700

Another one Bites the BB Dust – My first week with the Blackberry

Keeping with the theme of Mobile Phones, I have a small guilty announcement to make, I have just jumped over to the Blackberry Camp. For all those of you who are shocked, I am not giving up my Android, not for anything in the world. But like I mentioned in my previous post about Google Killing the Android in Dubai, and the fact that Blackberry has an Unlimited Data Plan unlike any of the other phones in the UAE, makes it a more compelling option. With a bit of a push from the company, the Blackberry was in my hands within no time.

After using the Android for as long as I have, the User Interface of the blackberry and the QWERTY keyboard with its small keys felt kinds difficult to get used to. But the BlackBerry messenger is something that will make up for most of that ! I love the fact that there is instant communication between people including pictures, voice notes and even plan group events. Its good, I understand people’s obsession with the Messenger, but dont yet understand why people use their BBM when they are in between other people. Now that is another post regarding cellphone etiquette. So will not get into that bit too much.

With regards to the Internet connectivity and the browser, well It could be much better, the Android browser feels like superman and the blackberry one like an ordinary human. I did get the better Blackberry, the Bold, and still it will be blown off the water by most Android phones, except for the fact that there is a data package built in the Black berry here in the UAE. The App world is well, “Not available in my country” so cant talk too much about the apps, need to wait until I get to India to access the Blackberry app store.

The track pad for me is the best innovation of BlackBerry, from the track ball earlier that was even adopted in my Nexus One to the now touch sensitive Track Pad the navigation within the phone is made simple, intuitive and really fun to use. Knowing the fact that the Blackberry and its encryption actually started a sort of a feud between UAE and Cannada is another interesting fact that I think adds to its appeal. Add in the BB Messenger, the 5 meg camera, 3G, WiFi, the in built Data Package here, and you get a compelling buy. I guess the fact that everyone is on Facebook and people sharing stuff can be seen by all, is pushing people to get to more closed groups of communication like the BBM and in effect ading to more people using the Blackberry.

I guess this is the closest in UAE you could get the feeling of what the Mobile Users in the west must be experiencing through their always connected phones. I guess the expression “Life was so much simpler when Blackberry and Apple were just fruits” is really true. I won’t say its the best decision I have made but well, its not bad for now.

18-android-phones-coming

Google killing Android in Dubai

Personally, I have been writing about how good the Android phones are and what benefits they bring to us consumers, maybe even save the world once. But after so much praise, its the market and Google in general who is quite literally squeezing the Android out of the middle east. Google are you listening ?? I know that the Middle east is a small market for you, and UAE is even small in the picture. But what companies like Google do not recognize is the fact that with an 85% expatriate population, the UAE has a much wider influence than they think it does.

Why am I complaining so much ? I love the Android Operating system, I love the User Interface of the Android, I love it that someone is sticking it to the iPhone and doing it well. What I don’t like is the non availability of the Android Market application which in my opinion is one of the best Application in the Phone. What do you mean non availability you ask ? The U.A.E apparently is considerably insignificant for Google, so they do not include the Android Market, all Android Phones bought in Dubai do not have this application and need to resort to other third part app stores which are well, not really all that good like Slide Me. Now why would Google do something like that ?? No idea.

I understand that the payment gateways for the Android Market is not available in all markets, but like they provide in the stock Android OS, they can provide access to the non paid free applications to the customers. Initially I thought that this was an issue with the Phones, but to be honest this is something that is consistent with any Android phone you buy in Dubai, including the Galaxy S from Samsung. Luckily I got the Nexus One, which provides access into the non paid applications of the Android market, else I cant imagine how frustrated I would have been with an expensive phone without its biggest feature.

Google Android Logo

The worst is not the fact that its not available here, the worst part is that people do not know about this at all !! The customers tho are wowed by the appeal of getting an Android are being sold phones without telling that they do not have access to the Application Market from Google. Personally I think that the lack of information to customers will cost the Android system a lot outside the US.

Adding to this frustration by the clients is the fact that the local Mobile Phone Operators Du and Etisalat do not have a deal running on any of the android phones with regards to Data Packages. The iPhone has one and so does the vastly popular Blackberry. So why is no one thinking about this, even Samsung ?? I am sure Samsung understands the prominence of this market, especially with their experience with LED and LCD TV’s in the middle east.

Google is not really killing the Android in Dubai literally, but like they say Actions speak louder than words ! Google if you are listening, its time to do something about this !!

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Mobile Number Portability a great Idea !

Hey, not that I have many options to shift mobile phone network providers, UAE, has a sort of semi monopoly in the Mobile Phone providers market. You can choose between Etisalat and Du and thats about it. But in India with 17 providers, the number of  options you have on selecting networks is unbelievable. It makes sense for the operators to have a common platform for the users to pick out of (Obviously they are running out of numbers to give out to customers).

So after a lot of deliberation, discussions and decisions, Mobile Number Portability is now live and for us to use. When I say its live, its gonna be live from 20th January 2010. The major mobile phone operators are advertising this feature really a lot. Some of the ads that impressed are here

So well how do you go about doing the change, here it is, It costs Rs 19 for the change anyway:

So are you interested to make the change ? Let us know

nokia

Nokia Phone charging with body heat

Nokia has been working with technologies that are really well different, when the Apples and Androids are innovating in trying to find different ways to be able to make our Mobile Phone experiences interesting, Nokia the world’s largest Mobile Phone Manufacturer seems to have different ideas when it comes to Mobile Phone Innovation.

I have written about similar innovations that are mostly from Nokia, dealing with trying to make a mobile phone work without really being powered, and here are some of their earlier attempts.

There are more than just Nokia working on solutions like this, like Indian Innovators who are really trying to make a mark on the renewable energy for Mobile Phones like

So after  some crazy inventions like the ones mentioned above, its at last back to what we wanted to actually talk about today, Mobile Phones powered with body heat. Charging your new phone might just be a as simple as dropping it in your pocket. Now with a future like that we might never have “The Phone Ran out of Juice” stories when that person dodging your call give the same BS.

That’s the promise of the Nokia E-Cu concept phone, developed by British designer Patrick Hyland. Hyland’s Nokia E-Cu (E for environment, Cu for Copper) phone features a copper exterior and a thermogenerator integrated interior that converts heat energy into electric energy.

Theoretically, the phone could be charged on any hot surface–from a radiator to a pants pocket. But as we previously mentioned, the phone is still a concept – and we’ll probably see ideas like the piezoelectric power make its way into future cell phones before Nokia’s idea. However, we certainly look forward to the day when our body warmth alone can juice up our electronics!

nokia_morph_concept_2

10 Future Concept Phones – The future is really interesting

If you have been reading my blog for a while now you will know that I just love Future Concepts, and Mobile Phones is something that excites me. So it was natural that you would see a roundup of some of the awesome concepts of Mobile Phones from around the world. Wondering why I am excited about things like this, well there is an awesome statistic that says, more than 70% of jobs today did not exist 10 years ago, the type of work we might do in 10 years or even the lifestyle we might have 10 years later are going to be in a way a result of these advancements in technology.

Sometimes it not just about the Mobile Phones themselves, its the applications that lead to more improvements in the hardware and vice versa. If you have noticed these days not only are the ads about the mobiles but also about the Applications for example the advertisement for Layar the Augemented Reality Browser and the Aircell Pocket App Store. Well here is a look at these concept phones, please do let us know what is the most favorite one that you want to use in 5 years time.

1. Nokia Morph Concept

Every day Nokia sources 329 million parts and builds a million phones in 100 plus handset models and distributes these phones in 70 different languages to 150 countries. But as phones become less about making calls and more an extension of our connected lives, Nokia is transforming itself from a hardware company into something more converged. It’s not the parts that matter but what use those parts are put to. The Morph touches concepts from Nanotechnology to clean energy all in one breath. This is an older concept but still might hold good today.

2. Nokia 888 Concept Phone

Made by the winner of a challenge of Nokia challenge to design future concept phones, rumor has it that Nokia is working on this phone actually. It might be a really interesting concept phone when it comes to reality. Nokia trying to make phones wearable as a small standard as seen in the above two videos, it might just be a growing trend.

3. Mozilla Seabird Concept

Crowd Sourced phone from the guys that crowd sourced and took the browser to the next level, the Mozilla Firefox. The design was actually put together by inputs from the community making it special. More about it here.

4. Nokia Kinetic

The Nokia Kinetic was design student Jeremy Innes-Hopkins’ answer to a Nokia-set brief for a “playful phone for 2012.” In addition to those curvaceous looks, the Kinetic offers the rather unusual ability of “standing up” when a call or text is received by “converting digital information into kinetic movement.” Under the hood, the “visual clue” of the phone standing up would be carried out by an electromagnet shifting a weight, while the same position could be employed for a video call or even watching media. Should you want to dismiss the “spontaneous, magical and undirected” alert, you could just gently push the phone to lie back down again.

5. Kinneir Dufort Revive

UK design and innovation company Kinneir Dufort came up with the “Revive” concept after working with the electronics remanufacturing specialists at Regenersis. The concept is simple: Many of us are tired of the excessive energy used and waste produced during the never-ending product cycles of the consumer electronics industry. The idea is that instead of trading in your old handset for a new one, you upgrade elements of your phone as they wear down (e.g. the battery) or as better parts become available (e.g. the camera).

6. Notcia X35-HOLO -Holographic Cellphone With a 22 MP Camera

Created by Nicholas Moffat, Notcia X35-HOLO is a phone that comes with holographic imagery support, holographic maps and a 22 megapixel camera. It’s got a battery that will provide 90 hours of functioning time, a touchscreen display, user programmable side buttons and cross platform app functions. Web browsing and email are also supported. Keep in mind that this is a phone mockup, not a real device, so there’s really no point in asking about the price… We think that the Notcia X35 is a pretty cool device, with a slim design, specially considering how huge the camera sensor should be.

7. Kyocera Concept Phone

The Japanese company has come up with some cool concept mobile phones, including one with a huge screen and movable see-through keypad. Kyocera has a history of creating concept phones and we hope it continues to create them because we can’t get enough.

8. HTC 1

Andrew Kim’s design for the HTC 1 encompasses both the handset and elements of the user interface in order to “create a harmonized hardware and software design.” What both elements have in common is a fantastic simplicity, with a smooth, seamless phone design complimented by a much more minimal “mono edition” of HTC’s existing Sense UI.

The wow factor for HTC 1’s design comes in with the simple, yet brilliant idea of offering a twist out kickstand across the entire bottom of the phone, which doesn’t ruin the device’s clean lines when not in use, and provides a useful way to stand the phone up, either for watching media or to set the phone on your nightstand as an alarm clock.

9. Synaptics Fuse

The Synaptics “Fuse” concept is remarkable if for nothing else than for how many companies were involved in its design. TheAlloy provided product design efforts, the UI was from both TheAlloy and TAT, which also enabled the 3D environment, Immersion added the tactile feedback, and the phone — that exists as a real-life prototype (unlike others on this list) — is powered by Texas Instrument’s OMAP 3630 processor. But of course that’s not the only remarkable aspect of the concept or it wouldn’t have made the cut. The Fuse has been designed for single-handed usage, and boasts multi-touch capacitive sensing, haptic feedback (that tiny feedback “buzz”), and 3D graphics, as well as force, grip and proximity sensors.

10. iPhone 5 Concept

A very clever video from WaterWorks that imagines what the next-generation of iPhone would be like if it boasted holographic functionality. Is that something that would even appeal to you? Have your say in the comments below.

Bonus

If you’ve seen Minority Report, Surrogates, Gamer (the movies) and played a Final Fantasy title with futuristic setting, you know what to expect from the following video. We’ve discovered it on Mac Funamizu’s blog, as he was the one who designed the user interface for a future computer, in the SoftBank Information Revolution video. Here’s how it looks like:

More of these are floating around the Internet, but I am waiting for some of these to leave the concept videos and turn into reality, sometime soon. Use the comments below and maybe we can vote on which is the most awesome.

The Fate of Blackberry’s in the UAE

Since we are in the second day of October, a lot of you might be wondering what’s happening with the Blackberry issue in the UAE, considering that there is just another week to go before a final decision on the matter is to be made. What is really happening with the Blackberry’s is something that my wife asked me yesterday as well, since she is an avid use of the BBM service and such. Before we look at it we need to look at what is the reason the blackberry’s were threatened to be banned earlier.

The UAE government along with other governments have actually made a decision that Blackberry is a potential threat device considering that they cannot monitor the calls or messages on the cell phone and the messenger services. The Indian Government was one of the first, and Blackberry reacted to it. RIM The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone had granted India’s government manual access to its Messenger service and has promised automated access by Jan. 1. But, Reuters yesterday reported that the India’s telecommunications ministry has rejected a solution offered by Research In Motion’s (RIM) to access its email and messaging services after security agences were unable to access messages sent using BlackBerry devices within the country.

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It appears the solution offered data to authorities but secure email communications were not presented in a readable format whilst agencies could not intercept chats sent via the Messenger service whatsoever.  Over the past few weeks, government sources told Reuters that there were technical glitches in talks between India and RIM to corporate email although messenger services were “satisfactory”. Amendments will be made to RIM’s offerings, the company faces a ban on its BlackBerry services if it cannot provide messages in a readable format.

What does this mean to the UAE ? Considering that the TRA in UAE took over 4 years to listen to pleads from thousands of users to Unblock Flickr in the UAE, it does not seem likely that they will be in favour of removing the Ban. What I do not understand is how a progressive country and economy can block access to such a feature rich device, knowing well that the structure of the device and the ecosystem around it is such that even RIM cannot provide access to it.

Unfortunately for RIM, the encryption of the messages and services on a Blackberry phone happen on the phone itself and not on the server of RIM as governments have previously thought so. This actually was one of the finest features that drove business to adopt the Blackberry readily. I can already see high profile investors shying away from the UAE as Blackberry users seem to be really “in Love” with their devices and are dependant on the connectivity on a large extent. This could make a difference in Dubai and the UAE in general trying to make a economic come back. This might be far fetched, but true. Let just hope that for all of us, for consumer protection and for freedom of service usage, this Ban in the UAe does not kick in, in a week.

In the mean time you can start looking for alternatives or have a read on more Blackberry ban issue here on my blog with these links below :