Categories: MacMobilityWorkspace

Mozilla Shows Seabird Concept Phone

While rumours suggest Facebook may have a phone soon, browser maker Mozilla is also exploring the possibility of designing its own  – and sharing the results in a video of a phone called Seabird.

The Seabird concept phone, revealed on the Mozilla Labs blog and in an animated video is a thing of beauty, combining a removable Bluetooth dongle, tiny pico-projecters and infra-red technology to create a virtual keyboard and make it possible to use the phone in a dock with a large screen.

Will the Seabird fly?

As a concept, Seabird was put together by designer Billy May with input from the Mozilla community, and is particularly designed to get round the difficulty of interaction with a small screen, using other technologies.

A Bluetooth headset docks in the back of the phone, and doubles as a sort of 3D mouse, which uses haptics, as well as Bluetooth and infrared to manipulate the phone’s screen – clicking scrolling and navigating.

The phone has a dock and can be used with a screen. When in the dock, it uses a pico-projector built into the side of the phone to project a soft keyboard onto the table, and infra-red to detect the user’s typing. When used away from the dock, it has an invisible virtual keyboard, with two projections at the side for visual feedback.

It also has an 8Mpixel camera, and wireless charging, and lots of high-concept design: “The form development took its cues from various aerodynamic, avian and decidedly feminine forms,” says the blog. “Its erect posture intends a sense of poise while its supine conformity to the hand reconciles that with the user’s desire for digital control.”

Will it see the light of day? And does Mozilla have any plans to make a phone? “No,” says the blog. “Mozilla produces Firefox for Mobile, the popular Firefox browser for mobile phone systems such as Nokia Maemo and Android.”

If it ever does emerge, there’s one detail it should fix, of course. The video clearly shows a mini-USB connector, and the world has moved on to micro USB. Not that we’re obsessive about that, of course.


Peter Judge

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

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