Nokia’s designers needed a platform for exploring new smartphone concepts that would allow them to design, build, test, tweak and iterate quickly–even in the field while performing user testing. Over a year before the release of their biggest competitor’s iconic touchscreen smartphone, Nokia knew they wanted to combine 16×9 touchscreens with a host of sensors to create gestural and environment-aware smartphones.
After a series of experiments hacking PDAs with our Sketchtools toolkits and researching suppliers for components, we worked with a partner to design and manufacture a single-board computer. The result was a 1:1 scale Linux handset capable of running the Flash Player and our NADA server. The prototyping platform enabled designers to use design tools (Flash) and plug and play sensors to quickly sketch graphical and tangible user interfaces on a mobile device.
Today we continue to make mobile hacking one of our core activities and even teach courses on the subject at top design and technology schools internationally.
The Zero-Power Adaptor
The average mobile phone charger consumes 300 milliwatts of power even when the battery is fully charged. Tellart’s engineers and interaction designers worked together to rethink the electrical engineering of the adapters and to consider how people’s normal use of power adapters could be changed as part of the solution.
The Zero Power Adapter project was primarily an electrical engineering challenge, and in response we explored solutions and developed a completely custom circuit design, manufactured custom circuit boards, worked closely with a rapid-prototyping house to build the plastic and bamboo enclosures, and delivered ten working adapters to Nokia for testing.