Mozilla, developer of the Firefox web browser, has launched a concept for an Open Web mobile phone called the Seabird, which includes a chic design and some very exciting features.
First, let's look at the design. The Seabird looks great, with curved edges, a glass-like frame, and a unique shape that matches the contours of the hand. It has a white case at the back and a light blue trim around the sides - it exudes elegance.
From the outset this is no normal smartphone and the reason for this is how you interact with it. It features a multi-purpose Bluetooth/Infrared dongle made into the back which can be removed and waved about to control movements on the screen.
This is motion sensitive, closer to a Wiimote than a stylus, as you don't need to touch the screen with it at all. It also has Haptic clicking, which makes it an effective mouse rather than just a pointer. The dongle is not just a controller either, as it also acts as a headset for Bluetooth calls.
It also features an 8 megapixel camera on the back and two pico projectors on the sides which are capable of a brightness of 45 lumens at a resolution of 960x600 pixels.
These projectors are the second big shift in technology for this phone, as they allow a keyboard to be projected onto a flat surfaced and then interacted with as if the device was a laptop, effectively solving the problem of the tiny keyboards we currently have on smartphones.
This concept was designed by Billy May, who started working on it in 2009 as part of Mozilla Labs Concept Series. He sought community feedback for the device, which ultimately led to the amazing potential of the Seabird, even if it may never materialise as a real world phone.
Mozilla has no current plans to make mobiles phones, but this concept may be taken up by others and could contribute to developments for the next generation of smartphones. If the concept can even be remotely copied we are in for a treat in the future.