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Next Big Thing – Mozilla Seabird

  Great, another smartphone platform – we're really lacking those at the moment... Hilarious. Actually, this isn't a new OS – the Seabi

Great, another smartphone platform – we’re really lacking those at the moment…

Hilarious. Actually, this isn’t a new OS – the Seabird is a concept phone from Mozilla, the open source geniuses behind Firefox. Back in early 2009 one of their Labs team presented his idea of an ‘Open Web’ mobile phone. Over the course of the year thousands of geeks suggested how it could be improved, and this is the result – a crowd-sourced super-phone.

I see it can levitate. I suppose it’s made from moondust and powered by tiny unicorns too?

Actually, all of its innovations use currently available technology. It can’t levitate, but there is an embedded Bluetooth dongle in the side, which can be used as both a headset for hands-free calls or a remote for panning and zooming on-screen menus in three dimensions (see video below). The best bit, though, is the two pico projectors, which can project half a QWERTY keyboard onto a flat surface either side of the phone for super-speedy typing.

Two projectors? So the battery life is, what, eight minutes?

If you used them to watch both volumes of Kill Bill simultaneously, perhaps. But occasional keyboard projection wouldn’t use too much juice, and it’d be a handy way to bash out emails while sipping on a Frappucino. Did we mention there’s also an IR array to beam a virtual touchpad below the Seabird onto a table? Sure makes stabbing at a diddy capacitive touchscreen seem less attractive.

Less attractive, but real at least. I don’t see many manufacturers flocking to make the Seabird…

I see what you did there. No, there are no plans to make the Seabird, but that’s not the point – it’s a concept to inspire smartphone manufacturers to come up with something a little more original than a black rectangle with a 3.7in touchscreen. And judging by the first batch of Windows Phone 7 phones, that can only be a good thing.

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