Friday 16 June 2017

O2 Cocoon (2007)

Announced June 2007

What would have happened if there was never an iPhone, and smartphones remained an expensive niche? Perhaps the interesting design of the O2 Cocoon gives us a few clues as to how design might have evolved.

Designed by a company called Syntes Studio in Sweden, the Cocoon was basically just a 3G feature phone at its heart. But it was the physical design of the Cocoon that set it apart. The phone had a curved case that gave it the "Cocoon" name, and that case could be mounted sideways into a docking station turning it into a music player or clock. A hidden display on the outside of the phone gave some basic readouts. The musical abilities were enhanced by an FM radio and a microSD slot for storing music.

Although the Cocoon wasn't as radical as the radical B&O Serene launched a couple of years earlier, there seemed to be some similar ideas at play. But unlike the exclusive and expensive Serene, the Cocoon was an inexpensive device that anyone could get from their O2 Store. The phone went on to be a modest success, but the market was changing and the iPhone launched in Europe just a few months after the Cocoon did.

These days Cocoons are hard to come by, but not expensive. As an interesting piece of Swedish design it is perhaps worth adding to your collection of esoteric devices.

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