CC Modular Mobile Phone
A modular mobile phone for multiple connections in a range contexts and environments.
Emily Albinski, United States
By engaging with open innovation LG Mobile Phones has accessed a vast talent pool that would be far beyond the means of most companies. Not only might this lead to a new product and new customers, but it has given them a valuable insight into where the future of mobile communications is heading.
The mobile phone market is a rapidly evolving field. No sooner has one technology been unleashed than another is waiting in the wings ready for launch. To stay ahead of the pack LG decided to extend its research borders. The company approached an open innovation broker to devise a contest that would challenge participants to create a new concept for the future of personal mobile phone communication.
Design the Future
The open innovation competition called ‘Design the Future’ was hosted by crowdSPRING, an online creative services company. Potential contributors were asked to predict what’s next in mobile phones - to see what the devices would look like in 2, 5, or 10 years time.
More than 800 designs were submitted to compete for $80,000 worth of prize money, with $20,000 going to the first place winner. Entries were judged on four categories: need fulfillment, creativity/originality, feasibility and polish and appeal.
LB Mobile Phones has realized that it can stay at the cutting edge and possibly steal a march on its competitors by tapping into a vast resource of external innovators. “Where better to get inspired than from the imaginations of mobile phone users, ranging from students to professionals,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, vice president of product strategy and marketing for LG Mobile Phones. And the prize purse is chicken feed to such a large corporation, especially if it leads to a new must-have product.
Ideas on Tap
The company received an abundance of proposals, and the winner was freelance designer Emily Albinski from Wading River, New York. She dubbed her concept CC, and the idea, which will now be built into a prototype, is for a core phone that slips into a larger shell such as a touch screen or netbook shell. It will allow users to connect in a range of different contexts and environments.
Albinski says it took her four days to refine and lay out her concept and at the moment she cannot reveal any more about it. LG has released no images of the design, which suggests they have serious plans for CC and it may get to product release stage.
Many of the design entries submitted to the open innovation competition demonstrated common themes; the desire to stay connected and multitask as well as wearable options. And prototypes will also be built of the competition’s other two top entries which includes a phone with multiple touch screens layered on top of each other.
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