Mood Cell Phones And Other MOTOFWRD Ideas

Posted by: Olga Kharif on January 17, 2006

Cell phone maker Motorola just announced the winner of its first-ever MOTOFWRD competition, challenging college students to come up with cool new cell phone products and applications. I found the entries interesting — and pretty revealing in terms of Motorola’s vision and strategy.

The first prize went to a bio-med engineering student, John Finan, who came up with the idea of making mood phones, whose sides light up in different colors to display the mood of the person you are talking to (Oh-oh. It just flashed red. Mom must be getting real mad at me). One runner-up came up with the idea of a cell phone functioning as a GPS, credit card, music player — and looking like eyeglasses or a wristwatch.

These ideas — two out of some 500 entries — fall pretty close to Motorola’s existing products roadmap. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the company had announced cell phone eyeglasses, for example.

Clearly, Motorola plans to stay on the cutting edge — and maybe even a bit over the top. It’s all part of its brand-rebuilding effort: A few years ago, Motorola was late to market with camera phones, and lost its innovator image as a result. The company wants to make sure that doesn’t happen again, so it’s trying out every neat idea out there — as it should.

Personally, I like the idea of mood cell phones; I really think it might work. Teens would dig the light show. And Finan thinks this technology could even be helpful to people with autism, who have trouble understanding emotions.

Sure, you could say this idea is a bit out there. But then, so were ringtones — and we all know how popular they’ve become.

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Reader Comments

Cell Phone

October 2, 2006 12:56 AM

Hi,
IMHO, i dont think this would be a great idea, i mean if some one is angry he wouldn't be changing colors, and how would that be standardized if what color reflects what mood?
Thoughts?

samantha

January 16, 2009 11:29 AM

I believe this could be a great idea depending how how they go about it. But there could be way better ideas like phone ALARM so it will make a loud sound when your phone is being stolen or phone tracking devices :)

samantha

January 16, 2009 11:29 AM

I believe this could be a great idea depending how how they go about it. But there could be way better ideas like phone ALARM so it will make a loud sound when your phone is being stolen or phone tracking devices :)

Kell

February 24, 2009 12:04 PM

This is a great idea. That way if you know the person is mad at you, then you can change their mood.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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