Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Folding Mobile Phones

Lately we have been digging around in the mobile telephone space. There's a lot of action there. Between new IPhones and Blackberries, the new Palm Pre, and the latest features from Nokia including their app store Ova, there are lots of interesting developments to watch evolve.

Under the heading of deja vu all over again, we wanted to see how far back you had to go to find a folding phone. We saw the early Motorola folding phone back in the 1990s, owned folding phones for the car including the Razr, and a host of other cell phones with different versions of the "fold" so we were curious.

Consider the 1905 patent that described a vibrator for a sound-telegraph apparatus' "specially constructed for use in the army or in other service where the apparatus must be portable or occupy but small space." It features a collapsing design with a fold out flap for the microphone. An elegant piece of work considering it was over 100 years ago. The inventor was Arvid Andersson Lind of Stockholm, Sweden, yet another testiment to Swedish design.

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