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April 29, 2008


LONDON, England – One in five people in the world is illiterate. That is a startingly statistic, but it’s true. How that impacts the future of phone design is something Rhys Newman has just explored with some fascinating insight.

Rhys is in a team of 12 with a somewhat broad brief of design future products.

After talking us through Nokia’s take on sustainability and the environment, Rhys explored how Nokia can go beyond green and have a serious impact on the world.

Based on three core Human Universals (lists, time and people’s faces) Beyond Green is exploring a device which appeals not only to those who live and work in urban areas such as New York, but is also accessible to that portion of the population that can’t read or write.

The concept device is designed from the inside out, presenting the entire user interface as a time-based list with every action on the phone recorded over time. Every phone call, message and interaction would be presented in a list form with the newest at the top and the oldest (stretching right back to the day the device was first used) at the bottom.

Other functionality includes the ability to switch from colour to black and white (50 per cent of the power in a typical device goes to power the backlight on the colour screen). Whilst that doesn’t matter to a user in London or New York, it makes an incredible difference to someone in rural India.