RIM Blackberry recently sponsored a concept phone design project at Art Center college of design. The objective was to design a phone that integrates the human emotions and social networking into the existing mobile phone functionalities. Designers Kiki and Daniel came up with the concept phone called "Blackberry Empathy". We read about this from this neat design blog called yankodesign. The phone has some really fresh concepts. First up, the phone works in conjunction with a biometric ring which has to be worn by the user. This biometric ring is capable of collecting the "emotions and moods" of a person wearing it. This data would be captured through the "Empathy" handset. This emotional data is incorporated nicely into the interface which you will witness shortly. Second up is the transparent OLED touchscreen which is capable of changing from 'transparent' to 'opaque'. Third up is the unique interface which is formed in ring-like fashion.The inner-coloured-ring shows the contacts previous emotional state and the outer ring shows the contact's current state of mind. Given that the objective was to incorporate 'emotional state' and the 'social networking' aspect, I guess the concept offered is not bad! I cant find an explanation for the weird handset shape though!
We have reproduced some photographs of the concept phone below. Check out the imaginative concept!
Blackberry Empathy Demo Video
First look into Empathy design - Quite unnatural
Features of Empathy
Charging dock for Empathy handset and ring
Walk-through of Concept
Biometric Ring Sizes
Empathy when OLED screen is opaque
Empathy when OLED screen is transparent/idle
The whole morphing sequence
The control wheel interface
This is what the designers had to say about their concept
It is of course touch based and all the user’s connections are shown graphically so you can see who is connected to whom. Each contact has an avatar that is encompassed by two colored rings. The inner colored ring shows the contact’s previous emotional state, and the outer ring represents the contact’s current emotional state. It is important to show the shift in emotions in order to see how an event has affected that contact.
Another important feature that we felt was important was the “Emotional Health Chart”. This chart would monitor the user’s emotional health through an indefinite period of time. One would be able to see how a certain event, or phone call/ message has affected the user. Obviously, if the chart shows someone is always upset, there would be a problem… If permitted, a user would be able to view other user’s charts as well.
Another cool Blackberry Concept phone video