Start-up company ADzero is preparing to launch a bamboo smartphone based on a design by Middlesex University product design student Kieron-Scott Woodhouse.
Woodhouse designed the phone to counter what he saw as a lack of originality in the devices on the market.
His concept design was spotted up by technology entrepreneur Jerro Lao after he posted it online, resulting in the two going into partnership and setting up ADzero to develop the concept.
ADzero said the handset is still in development and could be launched by Q3 this year. It will initially be available in the UK only.
The company declined to confirm specification and features but said it ‘will sit on the higher end of the smartphone market with a price that reflects this’.
The bamboo phone will run on Android. However Adzero said it will include ADAOS an overlay ‘that will tie up some of the loose ends of the Android OS and ensure the user interface and experience is coherent with the AD design language.’
The ADzero smartphone is made from four-year-old organically grown bamboo, which was chosen by Woodhouse because it is sustainable, can be treated to be as durable as plastic and can be locally sourced from China, where the phone is being manufactured.
The phone has a unibody design and weighs half as much as the iPhone and sports a larger screen. The smartphone also has a camera with ‘ringflash’ – a flash that encompasses the lens for even illumination and shadow reduction.
Dr Andy Bardill, Mr Woodhouse's tutor and Middlesex University’s product design and engineering director of programmes told Mobile that Woodhouse was an outstanding designer with a passion for consumer electronics. He added that the student’s bamboo smartphone design had been partly inspired by the smartphone patent wars. ‘He saw all those lawsuits flying between companies that were all trying to copy the iPhone and wanted to make a beautifully designed phone that is completely different, something that will challenge the industry.’