CLOSE

Apple’s Ex-CEO Designed a Smartphone for the Developing World

John Sculley, the former Apple CEO famous for firing Steve Jobs in the '80s, believes he’s created a smartphone that strikes the elusive balance between quality and affordability. Last week, his company Obi Worldphone announced the release of two new handsets, the SF1 and SJ1.5. The phones will go for $199 and $129, respectively, and will be targeted at buyers in the developing world.

According to WIRED, over the next few years, one billion people in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are expected to buy a smartphone for the first time. Tech companies, including Sculley’s own year-old Obi Worldphone, are scrambling to infiltrate these emerging markets. Their new phones offer a cheaper alternative to the premium brands currently dominating markets like Brazil, while providing higher quality than the knock-offs that are sold on the streets.

The phones are high-quality in appearance as well, thanks to Beats by Dr. Dre designer Robert Brunner. To set the Android-powered phones apart from their competition, he designed them to have a square top, round bottom, and seamless, rolled edges for a sleek silhouette. The screen on the SF1 is also elevated slightly above the body of the phone, which further protects the glass from breaking and brings the interface closer to the user. 

In just the first quarter of the year, local brands and Chinese manufacturers saw an average growth of 73 percent in smartphone sales. Obi Worldphone hopes their new products are appealing enough to steal sales away from their cheaper competition in developing countries. To start they plan to target the untapped markets in Nigeria, South Africa, Vietnam, Turkey, and Pakistan. For many customers, the SF1 and SJ1.5 won't just be their first smartphone—it will be their first computer as well.

[h/t: Wired]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Dan Bell
arrow
Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

nextArticle.image_alt|e
The North Face
arrow
Design
The North Face's New Geodesic Dome Tent Will Protect You in 60 mph Wind
The North Face
The North Face

You can find camping tents designed for easy set-up, large crowds, and sustainability, but when it comes to strength, there’s only so much abuse a foldable structure can take. Now, The North Face is pushing the limits of tent durability with a reimagined design. According to inhabitat, the Geodome 4 relies on its distinctive geodesic shape to survive wind gusts approaching hurricane strength.

Instead of the classic arching tent structure, the Geodome balloons outward like a globe. It owes its unique design to the five main poles and one equator pole that hold it in place. Packed up, the gear weighs just over 24 pounds, making it a practical option for car campers and four-season adventurers. When it’s erected, campers have floor space measuring roughly 7 feet by 7.5 feet, enough to sleep four people, and 6 feet and 9 inches of space from ground to ceiling if they want to stand. Hooks attached to the top create a system for gear storage.

While it works in mild conditions, the tent should really appeal to campers who like to trek through harsher weather. Geodesic domes are formed from interlocking triangles. A triangle’s fixed angles make it one of the strongest shapes in engineering, and when used in domes, triangles lend this strength to the overall structure. In the case of the tent, this means that the dome will maintain its form in winds reaching speeds of 60 mph. Meanwhile, the double-layered, water-resistant exterior keeps campers dry as they wait out the storm.

The Geodome 4 is set to sell for $1635 when it goes on sale in Japan this March. In the meantime, outdoorsy types in the U.S. will just have to wait until the innovative product expands to international markets.

[h/t inhabitat]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios