Celebrating the design principles behind cellphones

Want to improve the finished look of your projects? There’s a lot you can learn by looking at the choices made in consumer electronics. [Bill Hammack] explores what is perhaps the most refined electronic device out there, the cell phone. Specifically, he discusses the seven design constraints that face every cellphone maker. They are: compactness versus usability, consumer preference, availability of energy, economic resources and available infrastructure, knowledge of materials, societal needs, and cultural constraints.

Anyone who’s whipped out their hacked-together project in a public space understands cultural constraints. Especially when forgetting your backpack in a public place can put the bomb squad of full alert these days. But aside from the anecdotal issues, [Bill's] look at now-and-then cellphones really shows off the smart design that we enjoy thanks to the evolutionary process that went into what has become the wristwatch of the 21st century. See what he has to say in the video after the break.

Comments

  1. patman2700 says:

    I love these videos – straightforward and easy to understand, yet not too dumbed-down for us to watch.

    Keep ‘em comin’!

  2. madcows says:

    These would be great for PBS, or even some of those “science” channels.

  3. Yann says:

    Ahah! Got you! I love this guy’s videos, but this one contains an error (and this is the first time I catch him doing one). Assisted GPS is not what he’s talking about, which is cell triangulation. Assisted GPS is true GPS in terms of precision, it’s just the possible satellite position and radio frequency is preloaded from the cellphone network to speed things up.

  4. Whatnot says:

    I’d not celebrate cellphones, that whole thing went sour IMHO.

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