As Motorola battles for device sales, its engineers hit the sandbox
Company wants Rokr E8 to take off like its Razr phone did
Computerworld - At Motorola Inc., dozens of designers and engineers are busy working in Libertyville, Ill., and downtown Chicago to create the next hot mobile device that could lift the device maker's sagging revenues the way the first Razr phone did.
It's not so much Motorola's financial health that motivates the design teams, but the desire to create something new and that solves a set of technical needs while hitting a new level of hipness.
The Rokr E8, the fifth in the Rokr line that started in 2005, features a new ModeShift technology that transforms the device from a phone to a music player to a camera with the touch of a button. A spokeswoman said the ModeShift "declutters" the device's face by requiring only the buttons needed for a certain function to be visible. That means when a user is in camera mode, only camera buttons are visible under a 2mm thick plastic covering. The same goes when a user is playing music with images or when using it as a phone.
Rokr E8 specifications
|Size:||4.5 by 2 by .4 inches|
|Wireless band:||GPRS/EDGE, also Bluetooth|
|Memory:||2GB internal memory, with optional 4GB external support|
|Display:||2 inches; 240 by 320|
|Camera:||2 megapixel camera with 8x zoom|
|Other:||ModeShift transforms device from phone to music player to camera with the touch of a button. FastScroll navigation wheel allows scrolling through songs, contacts and images with the slide of a thumb.|
Ady admits he is biased about the E8. When talking about the device, he brings the enthusiasm of a college student, even though he has been designing for 24 years.
When describing his team's E8 creation, Ady sprinkles in technical descriptions such as "transflexive" and "piezoelectric actuators" with more prosaic comments such as, "It took technical magic. It was a huge challenge. ... The end result was what the designers wanted and what the user interface team wanted, a very simple interface for a very complex device."
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