I mean, “Holofone Phablet.” I think we’re finally to that point in tech-speak where we’ve just gone full Dr. Seuss. The tech world’s language problems have always been glaring: Its inability to move beyond generic words like “mobile” and “devices.” Attaching the word “smart” to everything. Software startups that leave out vowels or sound like children’s products. Heck, the “Internet of Things.” Holofone Phablet, though, that’s a whole ’nuther level.
But I’m going to defend it.
The product. Not the words. I just needed to address the Horton in the room.
We’ve long reached a crest in smartphones, where they’re all basically the same. It’s a good kind of the same, as they all do mostly what we need them to do. But nothing really differentiates them from each other and most of the things that they advertise as differentiating are either gimmicks or extremely obvious improvements that don’t really get people excited.
But I’m digging the defining feature of Akyumen’s Holofone Phablet: A built-in 45-lumen projector that projects a 100-inch screen onto any surface.
Projectors in phones have been attempted in the past, for sure, although the results were less than compelling. A big difference here is just the size of the phone. Or tablet. It’s a seven-inch screen, hence the phablet moniker. But that gives it room to incorporate a more powerful projector.
Here’s why I like the direction (again, assuming it works well). The far-future of mobile devices, when they become revolutionary again, is when they’re not around anymore. When actually interacting with the device itself will be considered highly primitive, like walking across the room to change a channel.
The projection feature of the Holophone Phablet doesn’t really put us in that direction, but it at least gets us thinking in that direction. Now that small rectangle of glass can be a more communal device. “Check out this video” becomes a real experience shared side-by-side with other people and enabled by the technology instead of confined within it. It gets us thinking about every surface being interactable, making the entire world our interface instead of shrinking the world down to a few inches and placing it under glass.
On the enterprise side, this could be wildly invaluable for sales people. We make sales enablement apps for iPad a lot here, and there are always lingering questions over how many of the sales force actually have iPads or engage in the few scenarios where sales people would choose iPads over laptops. The “Here, let me show you real quick” scenarios get brought up a lot, where a sales person is chatting to a client at the bar or sitting next to them at a conference and hands them the iPad. But being able to address the more common use cases of a conference room full of people or even just one person on the other side of a big desk without the ritual of finding the right wires and connectors and updates and channels that inevitably goes on in order to share a screen across even compatible devices will change the whole tenor of a presentation. You walk in, you aim at a wall, you press a button. That’s style points.
The Holophone Phablet debuts September 1, and dual boots Android and Windows 10. While, I can’t believe it will have a big uptake despite everything I’ve said so far, all the preorders are at least sold out.
In the end, though, this is probably what it will take to evolve the phone. Or the tablet. Some random-seeming company showing the big guys how to think outside the phone. You know, unlike that last turn of phrase.