LG recently conducted a survey to hunt for new ideas to develop into products. Previously there was an article about the LG netbook, which boasted tight coupling with cell phones. Exactly which cell phones and other details, like what bells and whistles went into the design were left to everyone’s imagination. However there are two other product projects that are reportedly in the offing, one a little more exciting than the other, but both are still newsworthy.
First off, the lesser of the two projects is ‘Elva’. Touted as being a ‘text’ phone, it is a concept that is hard to understand in the current climate of high-end innovation and advancing technology. Elva is just a text messaging phone, with a small screen and a large QWERTY keyboard in landscape. The screen can fit approximately two lines, and while they are long lines, two lines feel a little on the pitiful side.
The keyboard design is a tad more complex, perhaps leavening the disappointment just a small bit. The entire phone is shaped like a longish rectangle, and has two different modes. The first mode is the calling mode, where the keyboard has to slide partially towards the middle and the buttons change to a numeric keypad. The second mode is the texting mode, where the keyboard rests in the bottom part of the phone. Here the buttons are alpha-numeric like any standard QWERTY keyboard.
The design factor comes into play when the keyboard dynamically changes through the physical slide of the typepad. The phone is intended to be a budget phone, so presumably the idea is to introduce a phone that taps into the hype of a QWERTY phone, as well being affordable. Again there is a caveat though, as there are so many smartphones available now which are relatively inexpensive. If cost was really such a big factor, buying an older model would probably solve that problem right there. The phones will most probably retail for around $50.
The second innovation that LG has come up with is known as the ‘blooming’ keyboard. While this may conjure up images of flowers bursting from in between the keys, rest assured this is not the case.
The blooming keyboard is specially designed to fit inside clamshell phones. Since technology, innovation and fashion diktats have emphasized the imperative need for slimmer phones, there is a great necessity to reduce keyboards to the smallest possible size. The traditional keypad with the numbers was a great space saver, however everyone now refuses to settle for anything less than a full-blown QWERTY, never mind the size of the phone.
So the blooming keyboard essentially expands when the flap of the clamshell phone is lifted. It achieves a concave shape, separating the keys so that the accuracy is maintained. The keys then reduce back into a compact size when the phone is closed; at a time when accuracy is really not a top priority. The phone will come equipped with a camera and the standard functionality packaged into phones now. It will retail for around $149.