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Telecommunications (128)

The mobile that goes back to basics

The mobile that goes back to basics

OwnFone is a basic mobile phone with only a handful of keys that are custom-printed for each customer. When you purchase one, you choose two, four, eight, or twelve phone numbers you would want to be able to call, label them however you like, and choose a colour scheme for the faceplate.

 

The phone is marketed at kids and elderly people, and can be relatively useful as a back-up phone.  It could also become the phone of choice if you’re going somewhere where losing it or having it stolen is a strong possibility.

 

The phone has a number of limitations: you can’t change the pre-selected numbers without changing the faceplate and you can only receive calls from numbers you’ve set up to call out to.
 

Why it matters

Sold at a relatively low cost, OwnFone can make mobile connectivity more accessible to a wider number of people. In a world where smartphones are considered like computers rather than a device that simply makes and receives calls, could this be the perfect tool for those who recognise the need to be reachable yet do not want to be so connected to the rest of the world?
 

Connectivity
Instant Gratification
United Kingdom
Telecommunications

Email or text. Don’t bother phoning.

Email or text. Don’t bother phoning.

We don’t use our smartphones like we used to and telecommunication providers have struggled to let go of their old business model: making money on minutes, texts and internet usage. That’s why *Bliep, a new provider in the Netherlands, came up with a prepaid SIM card that allows you to use unlimited data and send SMS’ for €0,50 per day. Calling is slightly more expensive, but as young people don’t necessarily use their phones to make calls, its an interesting alternative for them.

 

Why it matters

As times are changing,  old business models need to be reinvented. *Bliep’s model finds a solution for something that is increasingly becoming more evident in the telecoms world. What opportunities could arise if brands shifted their business model ever so slightly and explored other ways to sell their products?
 

Conscious
Netherlands
Telecommunications

Digital sweets gumball machine

Digital sweets gumball machine

The interactive agency Razorfish  have created a digital NFC-enabled gumball machine. Simply insert a coin in the machine and you will receive a digital gift (music, apps, ebooks, etc.) by tapping your smartphone on the release chute.
 

Why it matters

This idea combines a classic object with modern technology. While people usually get digital objects through app stores, there remains an element of surprise about what you might get from the machine. Could this be an interesting tool for short promotions and get customers sharing what they’ve received through word of mouth?

Connectivity
Instant Gratification
Russia
Telecommunications
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