Alo is a futuristic phone concept by French designers Jerome Olivet and Philippe Starck. It’s one of many design projects the duo have invented, and they created Alo for the electronics brand Thomson. FastCo.Design calls it “the iPhone for a post-iPhone world.”
If Philippe Starck’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he designed Xiaomi’s Mi Mix smartphone, which has a near-edgeless display.
Alo? Are You There?
Alo is a device for a future where human-computer interaction is voice-only. The form factor is certainly interesting, with the sleek curves reminiscent of a luxury car, with a slightly menacing undertone.
The device itself is an “aluminum unibody wrapped with natural resin.” The aluminum makes sure the device is lightweight. The gelatinous resin is used as a haptic interface, and gives you feedback with vibrations and even heat. The resin also has self-healing properties.
You can think of the device as a smarterphone, because it would have an artificial assistant built in. Jerome Olivet described it:
“Alo provides a fully vocalised interface in all phone functions, reads SMS and emails, and even allows them to dictate their messages rather than typing them.” The phone’s camera acts as an ‘eye.’ Among other things, it allows the reader to read the texts he detects or to identify the faces. It also allows you to project a 3D hologram to view a movie or message.”
This is just one of many hands-free form factors that may be possible in the future. We’re already familiar with products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Another idea is to interact with devices through earbuds like Apple’s AirPods.
Although the device remains a concept right now, the team hopes to build a prototype with the help of Thomson.