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January 03, 2006


"There are two trends that are likely to considerably shift consumer perception of what constitutes acceptable use: miniaturization; and the availability of flexible componentry. Once objects reach a certain size the range of places that they can be comfortably carried and stored increases - making it feasible for it to be carried without significant extra burden for the user, comfortably placed in a pocket or tucked in amongst other objects in a bag. Objects will be carried and stored in locations and used in contexts which did not previously need to be considered in use cases. It is more comfortable to carry a flexible object next your (soft, fleshy, human) body than a hard object. Smart use of flexible components will increase the range of objects can be comfortably carried in pockets or next to the skin - expanding the range of use case scenarios for many products and along with it, user expectations."

One of my favourite functions of the Blackberry is the other function of the holster - that "being in the holster" doesn't just turn the screen off, it's a complete state. As well as having "silent" and "loud" profiles, there's an "in holster" profile - where, say, a vibrate is more effective than if it's just loose somewhere.

To extend Matt's analogy, you'd end up with a phone that would *behave* differently if it was in your pocket. For instance: quieter, vibrating ringtone, but also perhaps bluetooth on (for my laptop, rather than for when I'm making calls). It's a nice - and really mechanically simple - piece of design, that magnet.

Having checked the Blackberry 7700 series and the 7100 series, it seems that each of the profiles has an 'out of holster' and 'in holster' setting for each of the notifications you can get (call, sms, message, browser, calander etc).

this gives the Blackberry user lots of options for notifications but I guess most of us use the same setting for each, or leave it as it comes.

Not sure what differences will come with the new 8xxx series Blackberry.

looking at modern camera phones perhaps the camera itself could act as the sensor / trigger mechanism, i.e. if there is light available to the lens then it is in profile 'a' and if there is no light (in my pocket), the phone could recognise it ?

(of course phones with covers over the lens would not work this way).

Dave Walsh's 'PCs are thge fabric of life', 2001:

Walsh quotes Bruce Sterling's 'Computer as Furoshiki' 1993 and Holy Fire 1997, on computers and fabric:

'"I've never seen on these furoshiki." Maya leaned over the table. "I've certainly heard of them..." The intelligent cloth was woven from a dense matrix of fibre-optic threads, organic circuitry and piezoelastic fibre.The hair-thin optical threads oozed miniscule screen-line pixels of coloured light. A woven display screen. A flexible all-fabric computer.' [Holy Fire]

Related?: Sterling on spimes etc in Shaping Things 2005.

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