3D printing has been instrumental in ushering in a host of new techniques and technologies. It’s also had a huge impact in the medical field, with new treatments for everything from shattered bones to dental implants.
Now it’s taking on something else that we could all use a little help with – addiction to our smartphones. The new O Phone from Alter Ego Architects is 3D printed, and ships with no apps at all.
That’s not to say it isn’t worth your money, though.
What’s the O Phone All About?
How often do you check your phone? There’s a lot to distract us there, from email notifications to Facebook messages and everything in between.
It’s turning us into a world of zombies – people walking down the sidewalk so engrossed in their phones that they walk straight into light posts, or off the curb and into traffic. This is exactly what the O Phone was designed to tackle.
“We’re spending on average more than three hours per day – almost one day per week! – looking at our cell phones,’ explains Alter Ego. “In order to be more productive, we’re trying to fit too much stuff in our day, and smartphones help us with this, but we are actually losing our focus and making our lives complicated.”
The O Phone is 3D printed, and is roughly the size of a credit card, although slightly thicker. The 3D printing ensures super low costs, and the phone features a basic interface that makes it easier for the elderly and children to make calls, while limiting the distractions for other users.
There are no letters programmed into the phone – it only displays numbers and a handful of icons. That ensures it’s usable by those who speak almost any language.
“It will be the first phone ever built without language barriers,” the company points out. Of course, that might prove problematic with texting, which is a feature the company says will be available.
How they will address the lack of letters is not yet clear, but they seem pretty confident that it won’t be a problem.
Perhaps the best thing about the O Phone, other than its complete lack of app support, is the display. Rather than OLED or Super AMOLED technology, Alter Ego went a different direction.
They chose to use an E-Ink display instead. While that doesn’t offer super high resolutions, the phone isn’t designed to be a camera, personal assistant, gaming platform and social media manager in one.
It’s designed to be one thing – a phone.
The E-Ink display ensures that you can see the phone screen clearly and easily even in direct, bright sunlight. E-Ink technology also has another advantage – it means that your battery will last a whole lot longer.
Don’t rush out to buy the O Phone just yet, though. It’s not available. It has been 3D printed as a concept, and it works, but the phone has yet to enter production.