I designed a Microsoft Surface Phone concept.

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by icreatethings, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. icreatethings, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017

    icreatethings macrumors newbie

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    #1
  2. Foggydog macrumors 6502

    Foggydog

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    #2
    First off let me say that it looks like you spent a considerable amount of time envisioning that phone. At first it looked to thick, but after further browsing I think it looks very sleek and eye catching. My first question would be size of screen, as well as type. LCD, OLED? Either style would look splendid from my eye. Now if the screen is say 5.8 like current designs, then then the edges might need rounding. I say this because if my iPhone 6 had squared corners, it would be to difficult for me to use one handed.
    I liked that the top and bottom edges looked to a speaker extending the length.
    I also really like how the screen covers about 95% of the surface with just a little on the ends for resting my thumbs on while browsing or playing games.
    Next, for my eye, the pen takes away from the sleek smooth edges of the phone. Probably because I currently have never needed a pen. Tell me more about the screen being used as a trackpad. That's kind of interesting. And two more things come to mind,. In the presentation it says that the phone can be used to transition from phone to computer. Just how would that work. In the picture it looks wired. I like the camera quite a bit. Would you design a cover so the phone would still lay flat on a table? Would the fusion cameras project pictures taken into a halo to be experienced on a large scale?
    Please note, I have zero experience in design. I'm just going by your design and how I see it. And honestly from that design, I would seriously consider buying.
    Bravo.
     
  3. icreatethings thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Foggydog,

    Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to give me some feedback and ask questions! Glad you enjoyed it.

    Truthfully, Fusion Camera is an idea concept, but I could definitely see it being possible in the next few years. With that in mind, I am sure OLED will be a standard display technology by then, and that's what I imagine Surface Phone using. I made it have a bump because with such powerful camera technology, I'm sure there will need to be added thickness, I wanted to stay realistic. Companion Case accommodates the bump, but I imagine just as any camera with a bump, sitting flush on flat surfaces might be a tad annoying, but again, I wanted to stay realistic and grounded with my design and a bump is better than the whole phone being much thicker.

    The size of the phone is also something that would be up for debate, but I imagine with all the camera tech, a bigger phone would be needed, and ergonomics with the geometric-straight line design language of the surface lineup would need to be looked at more closely.

    For using the phone as a computer, select Microsoft Phones do this already through software named Continuum. When Continuum is enabled, the phone basically functions as a computer, connecting to a mouse & keyboard. With the standardization of USB-C which carries through a ton of functionality through a single port, Continuum should be even more convenient. Currently, the restriction of Continuum comes down to Windows Phones using ARM processors, so while the cell phone gives off a full desktop UI wth Continuum, it cannot run desktop applications. A few solutions could occur to solve this: 1. Microsoft feels as though Surface Phone has enough potential to be successful to where they convince some major developers, such as Adobe, to write their desktop applications for ARM (companies are starting to bring more and more desktop functionalities to iPad apps already), 2. Microsoft codes a X86 emulator for ARM processors 3. Microsoft is able to create a streamlined remote desktop service for Continuum, so people aren't running the applications locally over their phone, but through a network PC running the X86 apps, so while the UI and OS is run locally to the phone, the X86 apps aren't, or 4. Intel develops an efficient X86 processor capable for smartphone use.

    As for using the phone as a touchpad while the phone is in Continuum mode, imagine an intuitive user interface combined with a touchpad, so no mouse is necessary. Imagine being able to customize an MacOS-like dock or Touchbar to the side of your touchpad so you can simply tap apps you want to access instead of going to the dock. Imagine being able to use a Surface Pen on your touchpad to quickly sketch with Photoshop on your computer. Imagine being able to quickly change music from a tap on your touchpad so you can keep working on your word document, uninterrupted. The possibilities are endless, really.

    You say you aren't a designer, but you certainly think like one and ask a lot of great questions. Thank you so much.
     
  4. Robstevo macrumors 6502

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    Lovely looking design and renders! Too bad windows mobile is pretty much dead.

    I personally think Microsoft should just base the surface phone in android. But then intergrate it more with windows similar to what Samsung has done but in a more complete manner.

    Sad because I think windows mobile had a lot of potential, but they could never get the developers to get on board.
    And without developers it was always going to fail.

    That and the fact they didn't market it enoug, didn't get enough carriers on board, and the fact they didn't make OS updates very good. To many unsupported devices each time they released a new version.

    Hopefully they go the way if balackberry though and impliment their version of android, with their best technologies and ideas ect.
     
  5. Frisco macrumors 68020

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    icreatethings,

    Excellent. You are very talented.

    Thank you for taking the time to create this.
     
  6. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    Nice work! I can't say I'm a huge fan of the Nokia like square corners, but I can't argue with the bezel sizes. THANK YOU for giving it a kickstand, or at least a cover which doubles as one. One of my main wishes on any phablet would be to have some kind of kickstand, I've always wondered why no one else has done it, although there have been phones like the Evo years ago.

    I think you should add a keyboard to that cover. It's certainly feasible seeing the surface pro covers, and to have a physical keyboard would be pretty awesome. Maybe as another option an e-ink display, but I like the physical keyboard/cover better.

    Lastly, if we are talking dreams here, I'd love to see the stylus have a built in silo. I know Ntrig has the technology for a battery less stylus. Alternatively Wacom is working on universal styli which supposedly would work with Ntrig, but I'm not sure if they are powered or not.
     
  7. icreatethings thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Another possible strategy for Microsoft that my Surface Phone concept proposes is to not create a mainstream device, as the mainstream market is already taken up by Apple and Samsung, but by filling in a niche market that Microsoft has already begun catering to: professionals & creatives. The Surface Studio is a premium product that commands a premium price because it caters to a niche; Surface Phone does the same. With HoloLens experience creation capabilities, Surface Pen integration, Continuum, and features catered towards creatives such as 3D scanning, a creative market would definitely purchase these. Then by osmosis, similar to what happened with Apple catering to creative professionals in the late 90's, a larger market will open up with products distilled from high-end devices such as the Surface Studio and Surface Phone.

    Thank you so much and glad you enjoyed it.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2017 ---

    The keyboard was definitely one of my first considerations in features that could be designed in companion cover. I decided against it because 1. I'm not sure how possible it would be to design a joint that thin & flexible while being strong enough and durable to hold a phone up while you type on the keyboard cover, and 2. I feel additional battery life takes precedent over a feature that can be used on the touchscreen.

    Yes, stylus support is something that is very important to Microsoft, and has been for a long time. I thought along the times of Apple's philosophy on styluses: not needed for the device, but a nice feature to have. I didn't want to create a phone that was extra bulky to accommodate a stylus, but if you brought the stylus along in a pocket or bag, you could use it to use the phone as a notepad or a smaller Wacom tablet when using the phone as a PC.
     
  8. SigEp265 macrumors 6502

    SigEp265

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    #8
    I like it .. along with your Sony phone you have done a great job. I would like to see you take a stab at an apple and samsung phone concept.
     
  9. Foggydog macrumors 6502

    Foggydog

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    #9

    Good evening icreatethings,

    In your first paragraph you mentioned that OLED is becoming mainstream. From the idea of power/clarity, what about moving away from mainstream and incorporating micro LED possibly nano LED. I have only read a few articles on this subject but it seems that, that might become a viable option in the near future.
    I also agree with one of the above posts that the hinged cover is quite thoughtful. Hmmmm. What I'm thinking and unable to express properly is that the cover is great, but how could you charge the phone with it, as you say it doubles as a second battery. Would you use a very short USB-C cable? Or could it automatically charge the phone when needed?
    Interesting indeed. Please tell me what a fusion camera is. Initially I thought it was a marketing name you gave it, but in your reply it sounds like something I haven't heard of.
    Also, please tell me more how the halo projection works.
    Thank you and please keep designing. I'm sitting here in my semi wondering if you may be as much an artist as designer.
     
  10. icreatethings thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Thanks! I have a few future consumer electronics projects outside of smartphones I'm going to tackle. I'm just a fledgling industrial designer with dreams of designing for a company with fantastic products. :D

    If you look closely at the view of the cell phone and cover in an exploded view, you will see a third part besides the phone + cover. A hinge that has a male usb-c port extended to another male usb-c port to connect to Companion Cover. I did this so that the user can swap out covers, and leave the door open for future cover designs, either by Microsoft or third party.

    I came up with the concept of Fusion Camera, although there are products and features of products on the market that have some of these functions, they tend to feel like "beta" products and not ready to be used professionally. I believe with Microsoft's R&D, leadership in VR, & design team, they can create something special.

    A Fusion Camera basically consists of four parts, a wide-angle lens, a zoom lens, a Xenon Flash, and a laser-tracking device. All of these features work together to track space. Tracking space enables Fusion Camera to create 3D CAD models of objects, and also record not just videos of places you've been to, but actual virtual reality experiences for HoloLens. So say you are in Times Square, you can record a virtual reality experience of Times Square, and years from now you can re-experience that moment you stood at Times Square with HoloLens. Or, if you'd like to share your experiences, you can upload them for others to enjoy.

    Imagine the possibilities this can do to education. Students taking a class on Asian Studies won't only learn about Mongolia, but actually be able to get a taste of what it's like to be in a yurt in the plains of Khovd.
     
  11. mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

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    #11
    Still looking forward to the Surface Phone release but I don't think it's going to happen until Intel delivers 10nm. Or, if Microsoft pursue AMD's new Zen architecture built on upcoming Samsung/GloFo 7nm.
     
  12. spinedoc77, Apr 15, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017

    spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #12
    Don't forget MS is working on x86 compatibility with snapdragon. Supposedly devices are coming this year.

     
  13. mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

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    It's better than nothing but it seems like we're going backwards being that it's limited to WIN32 applications and I thought I read that it's also limited to addressing 2GB DRAM. I prefer the industry move forward to WIN64 only and dropping baggage from the architecture like legacy x86 instructions to make the SoC/CPU simpler, cooler, faster and cheaper to manufacture. A Surface Phone powered by 7nm AMD x64-only Zen APU with 8GB DRAM using Hyper-V to run Windows Phone instance in phone mode and full x64 Windows 10 in desktop mode seems ideal.
     
  14. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #14
    Seems ideal, but will be expensive for most. And that's the real issue.

    And I'm not shelling out a large amount on AMD until it builds back it's GPU trust with performance and compatibility.
     
  15. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    Totally agree! But MS has had so many issues running mobile devices on Intel chips I'm excited to see another chip maker have a shot at it. Plus the Snapdragon chips have a lot of pluses, built in LTE modems, 4k dx12 graphics, etc. This might also entice oem's to make windows phones, although that ship may have sailed.
     
  16. icreatethings thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
  17. Zaft macrumors 68040

    Zaft

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    #17
    looks nice but at this point its too late for Microsoft in the phone market. Its too saturated and developers wont care to make apps for a Surface phone.
     

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