Mobile Technology

Creators of the ADzero bamboo mobile phone set sights on 2012 release

Creators of the ADzero bamboo ...
The different buttons on the prototypes' fronts suggest that, at the stage these were created at least, a final UI had not been settled upon (Photo: ADzero)
The different buttons on the prototypes' fronts suggest that, at the stage these were created at least, a final UI had not been settled upon (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero prototypes appear to come in two colors, the darker of which may be stained (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero prototypes appear to come in two colors, the darker of which may be stained (Photo: ADzero)
The ADzero team show off prototypes (Photo: ADzero)
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The ADzero team show off prototypes (Photo: ADzero)
A clue that ADzero handsets will run Android (Image: ADzero)
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A clue that ADzero handsets will run Android (Image: ADzero)
ADzero side on (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero side on (Photo: ADzero)
ADzero's ring flash in evidence on the rear of the dark model (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero's ring flash in evidence on the rear of the dark model (Photo: ADzero)
Judging by the size of the screen, the ADzero will almost certainly feature a touchscreen interface (Photo: ADzero)
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Judging by the size of the screen, the ADzero will almost certainly feature a touchscreen interface (Photo: ADzero)
The different buttons on the prototypes' fronts suggest that, at the stage these were created at least, a final UI had not been settled upon (Photo: ADzero)
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The different buttons on the prototypes' fronts suggest that, at the stage these were created at least, a final UI had not been settled upon (Photo: ADzero)
The different buttons on the prototypes' fronts suggest that, at the stage these were created at least, a final UI had not been settled upon (Photo: ADzero)
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The different buttons on the prototypes' fronts suggest that, at the stage these were created at least, a final UI had not been settled upon (Photo: ADzero)
The project is said to have Chinese backers, but who's behind the mysterious AD? (Photo: ADzero)
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The project is said to have Chinese backers, but who's behind the mysterious AD? (Photo: ADzero)
ADzero's ring flash in evidence on the rear of the dark model (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero's ring flash in evidence on the rear of the dark model (Photo: ADzero)
ADzero's ring flash in evidence on the rear of the dark model (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero's ring flash in evidence on the rear of the dark model (Photo: ADzero)
ADzero's ring flash in evidence on the rear of the dark model (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero's ring flash in evidence on the rear of the dark model (Photo: ADzero)
The long buttons on the ADzero's side may turn out to be volume controls, and the shorter button on/off (Photo: ADzero)
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The long buttons on the ADzero's side may turn out to be volume controls, and the shorter button on/off (Photo: ADzero)
Could they be a headphone jack and micro USB interface in the phone's base? (Photo: ADzero)
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Could they be a headphone jack and micro USB interface in the phone's base? (Photo: ADzero)
ADzero prototypes appear to come in two colors, the darker of which may be stained (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero prototypes appear to come in two colors, the darker of which may be stained (Photo: ADzero)
Apparently positive feedback to the design persuaded its creators and invenstors to consider a UK launch (Photo: ADzero)
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Apparently positive feedback to the design persuaded its creators and invenstors to consider a UK launch (Photo: ADzero)
An early rendering of the ADzero (Image: ADzero)
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An early rendering of the ADzero (Image: ADzero)
An early rendering of the ADzero (Image: ADzero)
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An early rendering of the ADzero (Image: ADzero)
An early rendering of the ADzero's buttons (Image: ADzero)
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An early rendering of the ADzero's buttons (Image: ADzero)
An rendering of the ADzero's side (Image: ADzero)
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An rendering of the ADzero's side (Image: ADzero)
An early rendering of the ADzero's buttons (Image: ADzero)
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An early rendering of the ADzero's buttons (Image: ADzero)
ADzero prototypes appear to come in two colors, the darker of which may be stained (Photo: ADzero)
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ADzero prototypes appear to come in two colors, the darker of which may be stained (Photo: ADzero)
Hopefully the finished product will maintain the impressively slim form factor (Photo: ADzero)
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Hopefully the finished product will maintain the impressively slim form factor (Photo: ADzero)
An early rendering of the ADzero clearly shows AD branding (Image: ADzero)
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An early rendering of the ADzero clearly shows AD branding (Image: ADzero)
An early rendering of the ADzero (Image: ADzero)
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An early rendering of the ADzero (Image: ADzero)

An intriguing bamboo mobile phone named ADzero is set to launch in the UK before the year is out following a positive response to the design, which was originally intended for the Chinese market. Though the intention is that the phone will run Android, relatively little is known about the phone itself. ADzero's Jerry Lao indicated to Gizmag that the designers are leaving all hardware options on the table until production is ready to roll.

UK newspaper the Telegraph has one or two details, though. Apparently the phone will be made from treated four-year-old organic bamboo, and will be half the weight of an iPhone. Its camera will feature a ring flash surrounding the lens to minimize shadows caused by the flash. And judging by the size of the display, the ADzero will almost certainly feature a touchscreen interface.

"Bamboo may seem like a strange material to use for a phone," the ADzero's designer Kieron-Scott Woodhouse told the Telegraph, "but it's actually extremely strong and very durable, perfect qualities for this kind of application."

I'll wager bamboo doesn't strike you as that strange a choice, what with its being a low-cost, sustainable source of material already adapted from its everyday use (feeding pandas) to bend to the will of manufacturers of notebook computers, bicycles, scooters and perhaps truest to the grass's natural form (and my own favorite), iPhone docks.

Hopefully the finished product will maintain the impressively slim form factor (Photo: ADzero)
Hopefully the finished product will maintain the impressively slim form factor (Photo: ADzero)

The idea of crafting mobile telephones from more sustainable materials makes an awful lot of sense, given the rate it which people are wont to upgrade. It's not a new idea, though. Various prototypes of phones made from sustainable soft wood sources have appeared over the years. Unlike mere prototypes, it seems as though the ADzero is making a laudable attempt at commercial viability, though the Telegraph claims the ADzero will be targeted at design outlets, and is perhaps unlikely to become a mass-produced item on the grand scale.

We can't help noticing that the ADzero does not appear to be turned on in any of the product shots, so it may be that thus far no working prototype has been made. At present the identity of the ADzero's backers remains elusive, and with no fixed specification, a pre-2013 release may prove an optimistic target. But then, what's wrong with a bit of optimism?

Sources: ADZero, Telegraph

6 comments
Denis Klanac
Placing a bamboo phone in your top pocket and then going for a good workout or anything that makes a person sweat would likely make the thing swell from the increase in moisture. i think that might be the reason you don\'t see wooden phones on the market today.
Vanessa Mitchell
Normal people leave their cell phones in their locker.......SMH I think it\'s awesome and I will check it out.
Denis Klanac
not if your on call luv!
Shanghai'd Expat
I seriously doubt it will make a big impression here where anything with an Apple logo is de rigueur to show how rich & well connected you are. Bamboo might well come from China but it doesn\'t carry much of a coolness factor in the Middle Kingdom. We\'ll save that for all you greenies across the pond.
Annu Verma
Hats off to the product designers, Very nice looking phone made from organic materials. With this phone, one can forsee the moce of technology towards nature. The student is really very creative and innovative, which results into bamboo phone, running on Android OS. His selection of material for making phone reveals his love for nature as as well remind us to shift to natural things.
Rob Wharton
I can imagine it becoming the yoghurt knitters must have eco toy, until AQIS confiscate them or insist on dipping them in disinfectant at every international airport into Australia.