As the hype around Apple’s iPhone reaches a crescendo today, it seems only appropriate to look at a phone design that’s completely different.
Designed by Syntes Studio, the beautiful seamless exterior Cocoon once opened, reveals a phone interior whose design channels Jacob Jensen. Heavily influenced by Naoto Fukasawa’s Neon, its deceiving shell also hides an exterior LED display, yet the Cocoon takes a large evolutionary step imbuing character into its appealing form, and providing expanded functionality.
A Unique Project Setup
The project was carried out in close collaboration with Streative Branding and O2. Streative is an Amsterdam based trend agency that works for O2 to bridge the gap between the consumer on the street and the overall design process. The bleeding edge design inspiration came straight from real consumers via Streative’s “Super Moles” – strategically placed vanguards, who embody influential brand insight.
Intrigued by Syntes’ narrative and brand focused design approach, Streative and O2 approached Syntes to develop a design concept for O2’s own branded music phones. Syntes Studio could then translate consumer insight and the O2 brand framework into the overall design platform of the project – “A Life Within”.
The Cocoon Concept
A huge challenge in the creation of this phone was to translate the O2 brand into tangible and tactile experiences. The idea of the cocoon concept was to create a form factor that could seamlessly switch between three modes: music player, phone and alarm clock. To achieve this, a new kind of clamshell phone was invented with a seamless hinge-instead of the usual ‘two halves joined together’. The seamlessness of the form combined with the story of a Life Within formed the foundation for the name “O2 Cocoon”. The Life Within is conveyed by the clear contrast between inside and “outside”, the de-bossed symbols and the hidden exterior LED-display that “speaks to the user” by displaying personal messages such as “good morning” or “incoming call”. This kind of personal interaction and whimsical surprises epitomize how Syntes Studio strives to add soul and emotion to all their designs, thereby strengthening the relation between the product and the user.
User Experience is Paramount
The O2 Cocoon portrays several innovative design features that add to the user experience, such as the scroll-wheel in the hinge, the stereo speakers on both sides and a unique battery cover release. The climax of the user experience happens when the user docks the O2 Cocoon in its “Nest”. At this point big clock digits automatically light up on the LED display and the device turns into a radio alarm clock.
3G plus Quadband GSM/GPRS
Music player (MP3, AAC, AAC , WMA, WAV)
FM radio with RDS
Stereo headphones 3.5mm jack
2GB internal flash memory
MicroSD card support (up to 2GB)
External music controls
2-megapixel camera with video recording, auto-flash and zoom
Video streaming/download/playback (Synchs with Windows Media Player)
Docking nest supplied
External hidden LED display
Display: 2.1-inch QVGA (240×320) 262k TFT
Dimensions: 94(h) x 49(w) x 21(d) mm. Weight: 114g
Battery life: 350 hours standby, 15 hours music player, 5 hours talk time