Sony Ericsson F-H concept phone transforms into slate

Ericsson in support of designer Du Jun’s concept transform-a-phone.

The Sony Ericsson F-H device appears from its images over on Yanko Design to be, at first glance, a pretty standard clamshell smartphone: flip the two halves of the device up, and you’ve got your handset – although the traditional keypad has been replaced with a second touch-sensitive display, in a fit of solidarity with Microsoft’s long-since canceled Courier project.

Start playing with the handset, however, and you start to realize that things aren’t quite what they seem: as well as flipping vertically, the F-H rotates in order for the two screens to meet and form a single display surface – instantly converting the device into an – admittedly small – iPad-style slate.

Jun describes the idea as making it “more comfortable” to watch TV in the web browser, which couples with the user interface images to suggest that the device would run Android 2.2 – the first to officially feature Adobe’s Flash technology as standard – as its mobile operating system.

All the usual features of a smartphone – including an on-board camera with flash, and music playing features courtesy of Sony’s Walkman branding – are included on the device.

Sony Ericsson F-H concept

The become-a-slate mode isn’t the only trick up the F-H’s sleeve, however – and this is where things take a turn for the slightly bizarre: by sliding along the hinge, the two halves of the handset can be completely disconnected from each other – becoming a two-way intercom across the private radio bands or Bluetooth, and allowing its users to stay in touch without costing money or consuming precious inclusive minutes in their talk plans.

All this doubling-up on technology – two batteries, two radio transceivers, two Bluetooth chips, two processors, two displays, and so forth – is going to make it difficult for Jun’s design to keep the slim profile that he has envisaged for the device. However, given current efforts to produce both more efficient batteries and lower-powered processors and transceivers, it’s not completely beyond the realms of possibility – and if the walkie-talkie concept is shelved, the rest of the design is possible even now.

Sadly, the design remains merely a theoretical concept – and one not officially endorsed by Sony Ericsson, with the company logo merely service to illustrate a more believable design for Jun’s concept.

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