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Canadian Students Pull Off A Double In The “Mobile 2020” Contest

Pressmeddelande   •   Aug 30, 2007 15:43 CEST

The mobile telephone of the future will be smaller than a credit card, fuelled by solar energy, totally flexible and waterproof, and will come in customised colours, according to Phoebe Chiang who designed
“Tacktalk”, the winner of the design section of the “Mobile 2020” contest. Phoebe Chiang’s prize is a six months’ internship to work together with designers, engineers, and researchers from Sony Ericsson
and Mobile Life. The winner of the short story competition describes a future scenario where mobile phones play an almost dominating role in the daily lives of their users.

“We were looking for entries that really felt new, exciting, and futuristic, without coming across as totally unrealistic”, explained Professor Kristina Höök, on behalf of the jury. “And we definitely see these qualities in the two winning entries”.

Background to the competition
What will our mobile phones look like in the year 2020? Will they be even smaller, the size of a ring, perhaps? Will our mobiles talk directly to all the technical products around us, from the dishwasher to
our car? Will our mobile phones be the communication centres for our work, home and leisure? And what will the effects of all this be on society at large? What chance will there be for close relationships with
our nearest and dearest when we are drowning in information, images and messaging? These were some of the questions that provided the basis for
the “Mobile 2020” competition, which comprised two parts, a design section and a short story section.

In the design section, the competitors were given the brief to dream up a mobile telephone, with a description of its applications, and a drawing of the design. The winner, Phoebe Chiang, from the Royal Oak College of Design in Canada, in her entry, designed a mini-mobile which could adhere to multiple surfaces. In addition to the usual functions,
Phoebe’s mobile would also be used to send and receive three-dimensional holograms.

Michael DiBernardo, from the University of British Columbia in Canada, is the winner of the short story section, where competitors presented both utopian and dystopian visions of a future dominated by mobile
phones. In his short story Michael describes how – in the course of a single weekend in the year 2020 – the mobile phone plays a central role in nearly all aspects of the lives of his characters.

In all, twenty-five students from countries such as Canada, South Korea and the USA took part in the competition. The contest was organised by
Stockholm University’s newly-established Mobile Life Center with the support of industry stakeholders such as Microsoft, Telia Sonera, Ericsson and Sony Ericsson.

The jury:
Mikael Anneroth, Ericsson AB , Sweden
Linus Brohult, Mobil, Sweden
Richard Harper, Microsoft Research Ltd, U.K.
Lars Erik Holmquist, Mobile Life Center, Stockholm University, Sweden Kristina Höök , Mobile Life Center, Stockholm University, Sweden Oskar Juhlin, Mobile Life Center, Stockholm University, Sweden Gustaf Lindström, TeliaSonera, Sweden Kristian Simsarian, IDEO, US Jannecke Schulman, Campus IT University in Kista, Sweden Mike Stott, Umeå Design Institute, Sweden Annika Waern, Mobile Life Center, Stockholm University, Sweden Alexandra Weilenmann, IT-university Gothenburgh, Sweden Kristoffer Åberg, Sony Ericsson, Sweden

The winning entries:

An explanation of the jury´s decision:
Phoebe Chiang, “TackTalk”:
Smaller than a credit card, solar energy driven, waterproof, in a bendable material, with a transparent look or pattern determined by the owner’s wishes, using holographic images – this mobile has it all!

Short story
Michael diBernardo, “Spaces”:
“Shows how lifestyle and technology are interdependent, is aesthetically pleasing to read, and excellently written!”

To view all submissions to the competition:

Further information:
Kristina Höök, Professor, mobile +46 70 5617035, email

For press photos or to contact the competition winners:
Maria Erlandsson, mobile +46 70 230 88 91, email

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