As concepts go, here's one I'm surprised we haven't seen before. Take a BlackBerry 7130 and give it Optimus Maximus OLED keys, which can double as shortcuts and page controls together with SureType text entry keys. These renders are the handiwork of designer and editor Billy May, who has been working with Mozilla Labs on developing "a conceptual 'Mozilla Phone'".
More images after the cut
Now before you get excited, despite the Vodafone branding this obviously isn't a device headed for production anytime soon. Instead May is hoping it'll prompt some discussion about how best a mobile device can be used to convey information and receive input to and from a user.
- What will make it a Mozilla Phone?
- How can every square millimeter of a phone both input and output information to the user?
- How can our buttons, screens, speakers and trackballs communicate to more of our senses?
- How about a volume wheel that gets harder to turn the louder it goes?
The OLED keys let May take up the soft-interface - 'New Tab' or 'Menu' buttons that would normally be taking up space along the bottom of the screen - and shift them to the hard-interface, the keys. Only to do that consistently throughout the interface, those hard keys are in fact software controlled. All I know is that I really want something like this to reach the market!