Perhaps the Web and the tech would have already talked about this project at length, I don’t know. I just discovered it and spent some time browsing the Rimino project website, which gives a detailed and in-depth overview of what this is all about. And since it fascinated me, I thought it was worth sharing.
From the Summary page:
“Rimino” is Amid Moradganjeh’s Masters thesis project at Umeå Institute of Design in collaboration with Microsoft and under the supervision of Donald Barnett.
A Human Touch on Mobile Experience
Project Rimino redefines mobile experience through human factors research and design thinking. Informed by human experience, the project is guided by six core design values. The design values are derived from the demands and the aspirations of the user and are used to define the overall user experience.
The Rimino concept is an E-paper mobile device with a user interface inspired by print posters. Historically, as technology has progressed, devices have become more conspicuous. Rimino challenges this trend and presents the alternative: technology that is more integrated and more sensitive to the human experience.
Rimino concept video represents a future that is envisioned to be more aligned with what we need and want as people instead of our needs and wants being dictated by technology. It also shows how design can be used to introduce behaviors that are less influenced by technology and are more human-like.
Concepts like this are better seen in action than described, so I think you should start by reading the Summary article and watch the video on that same page. But please, if you have time, explore the whole site to have a better idea of the design process.
I think you’ll find — as I found — some interactions and gestures to be a bit unfamiliar, and the concept to be perhaps too far-out or futuristic (for one of the most important gestures, you’re supposed to bend the device, for instance). But you should try not to think in terms of current multi-touch interfaces, because this is an entire rethinking of how we interact with mobile devices.
The Rimino project is still at a purely conceptual stage (what you see in the video is a mockup, not a working prototype), but I really like this kind of approach, and what I like most is the idea of a device that is somehow aware of its surroundings, with an UI based on context-sensitive tasks. It’s a daring project that I hope will develop into something tangible.