Allo, allo – Philippe Starck imagines a new generation of smartphone

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Alo features no screen and instead relies on holograms, voice control and haptic feedback

Famed French designer Philippe Starck is known for being a bit radical and ‘out there’ with his designs and now he was co-created a smartphone called Alo that, well, doesn’t look like a phone at all.

Working with fellow French industrial designer, Jerome Olivet, the duo have concocted a screen-less smartphone concept for European technology company Thomson.

In this imagined future, text messages will be a thing of the past and instead we’ll view them as 3D holographic images.
The phone features a moulded aluminium alloy technology core that is wrapped in natural resin. Olivet, who is partial to organic forms in his work, describes it as being “covered with a gelatinous, supple and natural envelope that perfectly fits your hand”.

Alo is equipped with high performance speech recognition and artificial intelligence that self learns. “The more you talk to him the more he recognises your language and responds to your calls,” says Olivet.

In this respect, Olivet claims that your phone will be a true personal assistant, knowing more about you than you know about yourself.


Whether or not this will ever come to fruition will have to be seen, but one of Starck’s smartphone projects that has is the Mi Mix for Chinese company Xiaomi. Launched towards the end of last year, the phone features a 6.4 inch immersive full display design.

The sleek, edgeless Mi Mix was designed by French designer Philippe Starck

Although the Mi Mix packs some serious technology punch (a 2040×1080 pixel display, a 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, a 4,400mAh battery and a 16MP rear-facing camera), the design philosophy for this phone which features a micro-crystalline zirconia ceramic body was one of “less material, more humanity”.

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