Archive for November, 2010

Smartphone Design enters Stone Age

You know how, soooo often, you get your iPhone out to see a map of where you are, or to check Flook for what’s interesting there, or… or for whatever, but Britain’s “O2” mobile network can’t provide even the tiny data bandwidth required?

Like, about 50% of the time, I’d guess?

For some while now I’ve been carrying a second smartphone for just such occasions:

UPG - the Useless Palm Gadget

UPG - the Useless Palm Gadget

Made by the Stuckist artist Richard Conway-Jones, the UPG (“Useless Palm Gadget”) performs all of the same advanced data functions as my O2 iPhone does half the time (ie none). But with many advantages –

– iPhones are common as muck now (hence the “bandwidth divided by infinity” problem). Whereas people rush over to watch my UPG fail to display a map.

– Made of solid plaster – scratch-proof, drop-proof (may damage floors).

– Big, firm, tactile buttons, made from bottle tops and penny pieces, plus a screen that’s equally readable in any lighting.

– Sorry, iPhone users – but this actually *is* a work of art.

And I’ve just discovered UPG-Sync, which guarantees that all my devices contain identical Contact data. (It’s more a philosophy than a software product – you get all the other devices together and whack them with your UPG.)

In November 2010 I had the pleasure of introducing my UPG while presenting at the Smart Device and Mobile User Experience Summit, in London. Demand is already phenomenal. It’s a better option than my iPhone 50% of the time. And much, much cheaper.

(PS Here’s a review of that show, with various transgressions of mine, on leading tech-news site The Register.)