3G Telephony Mobile Services (2000)
Bas Halin, Jasper van Kuijk, Martijn Santbergen
Adinda Freudenthal †
Internal project at IDE
Jans Aasman, IDE professor and researcher for Dutch telecoms operator, KPN, used his Telematics course to show the possibilities and limitations of emerging new technologies and inspire the design assignments run by course coordinator, the late Adinda Freudenthal.
Halin, Van Kuijk and Santbergen decided to explore the potential of 3G. Together, they examined the technology at their disposal - an always-on wireless connection, a touch interface and increasingly accurate GPS. They envisioned a foldable touch-screen device, about the size of two modern day smartphones, on which one could install digital mobile services – what we would now refer to as apps. Using GPS tracking, this trio developed a taxi service, a ‘find your friends in the bar’ finder and an interactive ‘out on the town’ guide. A demo – eerily familiar from our current day perspective – was created to communicate this new way of interacting with the local environment.
(English subtitles available)
The turn of the century heralded the advent of 3G - third generation mobile communication networks. However, it was not yet clear what people would actually do with this new technology.
As an additional feature, an LCD-screen was integrated on the outside of the device in the embodiment, thus enabling users to change its appearance by simply downloading a new skin.
Halin, Van Kuijk and Santbergen’s design showed the potential of emerging technologies. The design didn’t take into account the necessary business model, e.g. it lacked a payment system – which has allowed services such as Uber and Lyft to flourish today.
Just how much similarity is there between the original design and its modern counterparts? Judge for yourself in this side-by-side comparison: