Siemens' Solar, Leaf, and Stone Phones: Cool Green Vaporware
It's a little discouraging how long it has taken electronics' makers to truly go deep green with their products. Green vaporware is much more common than green alternatives. And so it is with these very cool Siemens concept phones - they'll never appear as you see them here.
OLED cordless phone looks a bit like a leaf
Munich-based Formwelt Industial design was asked by Siemens to come up with more environmentally-friendly concepts, and in that they suceeded admirably. Cordless Leaf, shown above at left, has the kind of organic shape that you really want to hold, somewhat reminiscent of Bang + Olufsen designs. Leaf features "liquid wood" a wood-derived polymer mixed with other plant-based fibers, as well as a highly efficient OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen.
Solar's embedded solar cells make it naturally rechargeable
The mobile Solar is even cooler. The dark-blue Solar is super thin and has an OLED as well as solar cells embedded underneath the touchscreen display so that the phone could recharge when you lay it face up on a surface with sun exposure. Solar is designed to be separated into plastic, glass and metal for easier recycling. Stone, Formwelt's third design, has no surface "decorations" at all, said designer Henrietta Lipinski. It's designed for a group of consumers called the "ecologic economics" that want very basic features and no frills. "It's stripped down, very Muji," Lipinski said. What may be coolest of all is Formwelt's idea that Siemens phones carry an "eco index" - a small label like a nutrition label that shows some of the environmentally friendly features (hit the jump for a photo). But designer Henrietta Lipinski said while Siemens will use ideas generated by Formwelt's designs, they won't look like they do above, and won't be appearing for about a year. Sigh. Siemens said there's a good reason.Henning Brabaender said Siemens is completely committed to an entire portfolio of eco-designed products - they just can't be as "uncompromisingly eco" as Formwelt's from Day 1. "We've embraced a new aesthetics of eco and we're now implementing it, but you can't just turn around a large company in a day. It will take a little while." Brabaender said the new portfolio's products will have Eco-Dect, a feature which detects and varies the transmitted power (and radiative emissions) of handsets and other devices. Via ::Formwelt (German only) and Siemens Home & Office Communication Devices