Ever since I saw this mesmerizing commercial for the wood-clad (and unfortunately named) Touch Wood, I’ve been a sucker for phones of a more organic persuasion. While the Touch Wood ultimately never saw the light of day outside of its native Japan, another wooden smartphone is preparing to take the proverbial stage.
The ADzero, as it’s known, began its life as a concept design from a Middlesex University student named Kieron-Scott Woodhouse. The design has since attracted the attention of a few parties in China, who have begun to financially back production of the once China-only device. Details abouts specs are light at this point — all that’s been revealed so far is that it’s an Android device that’s roughly half the weight of an iPhone, and features an interesting camera flash that’s built directly into the wood frame.
Now I’m no design guru myself, but the concept of a device swathed in actual wood seems terribly charming. Most smartphones are made of extruded plastics with the inclusion of some metal trim as desired, while wood has its flaws it can also bring something needed to the smartphone experience: character. With every phone being sculpted out of a separate bit of bamboo, no two devices would ever be the same.
Hopefully the specialized build of Android that the ADzero runs takes the wooden motif and runs with it — I’m not a fan of most custom UIs in general, but it’s still fun to see what different manufacturers and developers feel needs improvements.
Don’t start marking up those calendars yet though. While it seems as though the ADzero will launch later this year, there’s no official timeline to lean on. I can almost guarantee that the ADzero will remain a curiosity confined to specialty stores and boutiques, but it hopefully won’t be long before we can take it for a spin.