As readers of this blog know, I sometimes sit and think “what next”, especially when it comes to Apple.
Now I don’t like to think small, or conventional so it will come as no surprise when a few ideas that I’d read online and some stuff I’d seen on TV just came together and I got one of those “What if?” moments.
First off, there’s been a few internet articles on the possibility of a future version of the iPhone having some sort of “curved” design. When you think about most land line phones, from
the humble public phone booth to your home phone, all have a standard L shape. The standard phone has a straight body which houses the earpiece and a short microphone jutting out at an angle, so that it sits close to the mouth.
Mobile phones, in the last few years, have become flat slabs, which is handy when they are in your pocket and as mobile apps and touch screens have taken over, the “flat” design has ruled the roost. But these “flat” phones do pick up a lot of background noise (and wind) and have had to have noise cancelling technology added to improve the call quality.
So, is the answer to move to a smoother, more ergonomic “curved L” shape? Is the answer to move to other ways to detect speech? If anyone can reinvent, it has to be Apple. With Ive’s feel for design, his thinking about form and function I would not be surprised if similar ideas have not been discussed at Apple.
So, If you start thinking about the microphone, why not think about the speaker… Is there a better way? I remember seeing something on TV about headphones that could be used whilst swimming as they used Bluetooth and used vibrations that transferred the sound instead of using in-ear speakers ( I believe that Google’s Glass uses a similar concept). Could Apple use something similar, could something like this help people with hearing issues make better use of mobile phones?
The other advantage, of changing away from older technologies, could be that there may be fewer openings for watter, dirt and possible flaws, which could lead to cracks in the glass or other failures.