Cutting edge mobile design: why you don’t want to wait for the future

LG Mobile Phones announced the winners of their third annual Design the Future Competition on June 1, showcasing innovative designs that make you wish you were already living in the future.

LG Mobile's competition aims to challenge designers to step outside the lines of tradition mobile design and pushes them to re-conceptualize consumers' definition of a mobile phone.

The more than 400 participants competed for more than $80,000 in awards. A team from Virginia Tech won the competition with their AL-i concept device. The device designed by the four second year industrial design students, (Zack Filbert, Chris Carpenter, James Connors, and Kees Luyendijk) centers around the concept of a smartphone that can be easily used with just one hand.

Professional car designer Nouphone Bansasine created the second place winner - a 3D interface mobile phone that can connect with a car, called Premium. The Prop Mater's Choice Award went to Flutter designer Dua Xiong. Xiong's smartphone parted at the middle (like a fan) to reveal a flexible OLED touch screen.

Accessories and phones concepts that would assist disabled users were also among the entries submitted to LG Mobile Phones' Design the Future Competition. Honorable mentions went to Atlas (a smartphone that projects pages so users can view multiple applications simultaneously) and to Surface (a watch phone for blind users featuring Braille input methods).

"We continue to be impressed with the imagination of the participants," said Ehtisham Rabbani, vice president of marketing and innovation for LG Mobile Phones. "Although we listen to our consumers daily, LG's Design the Future Competition invites a different type of conversation."

Nokia has also been inviting consumers to predict future mobile form factors and designs. Their Design by Community project invited consumers to submit ideas and concepts for a new mobile phone. More than 72,000 people voted for the submitted ideas and design suggestions and Nokia is in the process of creating three concept drawings based on the ideas. Once the initial sketches have been finalized, users will again be in charge of selecting the winning design.

LG did not provide any photos of the winning device, suggesting it may be incorporated into the company's future smartphone lineup.

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