Punkt launches Jasper Morrison-designed MP 01 as a "liberating" alternative to smartphones
London Design Festival 2015: Swiss technology brand Punkt has launched a stripped-back mobile handset designed by British designer Jasper Morrison that only offers basic phone functions.
The MP 01 deliberately foregoes many of the now "standard" smartphone features in favour of a return to the traditional capabilities of a phone.
Offering users just the ability to phone and send SMS messages, the handset's only additional features are a simple calendar and clock. Punkt is referring to it as "the essential handset experience".
"Technology is a very powerful tool, but as our lives become increasingly complicated, it is important to find time to disconnect and rediscover the simple things," Punkt founder and CEO Petter Neby said in a statement.
"It is a liberating device that removes unnecessary distractions and goes back to the essentials of communication," he added.
Punkt has put an emphasis on longevity, constructing the MP 01 from materials selected for their durability, including damage-resistant Gorilla Glass. The brand describes the device as "a considered antidote to today's throwaway culture".
The phone features large round monochromatic buttons, and a black soft-touch exterior. A dotted pattern on the back panel has been designed to make the phone comfortable to hold.
"The Punkt MP 01 mobile phone integrates unique hardware and software design to achieve new levels of simplicity," Morrison, who has been art director at Punkt since 2008, said in a statement.
"Created with a focus on call making with direct keys and an intuitive text-based interface, the handset offers unhindered access to all functions, without complex navigation keys and menu systems," he added.
Morrison is considered one of the world's leading industrial designers – his iconic products include the 1994 Bottle storage rack and the 1999 Air Chair. Earlier this year he defended the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan during an interview with Dezeen.
Petter Neby founded Punkt in 2008 to create stripped-back electronics that could offer an alternative to much of today's multi-functional products. Morrison's previous designs for the company include a USB charger, a telephone, and an alarm clock.
The new phone can be connected to cars and headsets via Bluetooth, and can also be backed up with a PC or Mac to save contacts. A selection of ringtones, which include bird sounds, have been created by Norwegian sound artist Kjetil Røst Nilsen.
Punkt claims the phone has a battery life of 290 minutes for talk time, and 670 hours for standby, giving it what Morrison calls "a forgotten level of battery life". The company estimates the phone will only require a new battery after seven years of usage.
Currently just available in black, two more colour options are set to follow in 2016.
The phone will be on display at Somerset House as part of the 10 Designers in the West Wing exhibition, which features pieces from names including Faye Toogood, Patternity and Nendo. The exhibition will take place from 21 to 27 September 2015, during this year's London Design Festival.