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director of design, Orange France Telecom ExploCentre

The greatest innovation in the world of the mobile phone has undoubtedly been text messaging. The mobile phone itself is, of course, a major innovation, but use and acceptance of mobile phones has always been strongly dependent on culture and social acceptance. As the technical performance of phones accelerates, it is amazing how little of the technology is of use to us. But Text Messaging, SMS, call it what you will, originally installed as a tool for engineers to repair or update phones, provided a fast, non-intrusive, secretive way of communicating that proved hugely popular.

Phones operators tried to copy the success with MMS, or picture messaging, but the human need just simply isn’t there. That’s what I love about the mobile phone world; people find what is of value and discard the rest and at the end of the day, calling people and sending texts is what we need a mobile phone for and no more.