Every so often I'll come across an entry on a blog or in an RSS feed that catches my eye with the name of a cell phone I've never heard of. Happened to me yesterday when I saw IntoMobile's headline, "Android-powered Sony Ericsson XPERIA X5 Concept packs a punch." So I clicked to load the story and it turned out to be a bunch of homemade Photoshop (Illustrator?) images of a made-up phone with made-up specs made by a fan.
I kind of wanted to hop in my car and drive down to Palo Alto to give Will Park - who posted the story - a hotfoot, I was so annoyed. I mean, concept cars are cool because they sort of exist, even if they're just fiberglass models without engines. But concept phones made out of pixels by some random dude or dudette with no connection to a company that could actually make the phone exist? Grrr! The concepts make me Grrr! because they're so much cooler than what actually exists that I get all sad knowing I'll never have a phone quite so cool as the XPERIA X5 or whatever.
So I stayed at my desk and worked on a video instead of driving to Palo Alto to confront Will. Good thing, too, because I'm pretty sure WIll could take me in a showdown - or at least elude me, since his car is faster than mine (trust me, I drive a hybrid). And it was rush hour, so I probably would have just gotten stuck in traffic.
Today, feeling more level headed, I set out to create my own concept phone. Actually, I dreamt up a line of concept phones when I was somewhere between awake and asleep late last night. Having no Photoshop skills at all, I decided to download and install Google SketchUp to create my concept phones in 3D, glorious 3D. I launched SketchUp, skipped the tutorial, and found something in the menus called "3D Warehouse."
And it was there, in the 3D Warehouse, that I found the ultimate badges of glory in the war that is cell phone fanboy/girl-ism: Virtual 3D replicas of actual cell phones made by their loyal owners ... or, better yet, would-be owners who can't get their hands on the phones of their dreams and so create them out of thin air - in pixels - and post them to Google for all to enjoy.
Seriously, anybody can make a concept phone. But a 3D replica of an N96? That's hardcore.
Check out the "cellphones" collection in the Warehouse, including "Téléphone SAMSUNG F480" by 3upHOri4 and Boss' "Nokia N96" (pictured above). You can view the models as images or in 3D on the site, or download them to scrutinize and modify on your desktop in SketchUp.