How do you design smartphones for teens?

There are some parents who believe in limiting their child’s access to sufficiently advanced tech. Technology empowers, but it also means a lot of things. You can lose your privacy, your data, end up on wrong parts of the internet, and just be exposed to something you’re not ready for. For teenagers, that can be a pretty damaging experience. Especially considering Facebook was actually caught paying teenagers to spy on them just a month ago. I don’t blame parents for wanting to be connected to their children but worrying about the price of that connection.

This is U18. It’s a bare-basics phone that your child will probably not like, but then again, teenagers often don’t know what’s good for them, right? It allows you to make, answer, and reject calls, add and remove callers, and call your dad, mom, or set up a group call for parents/siblings. It even has a WeChat button that’s probably limited to reading texts, and a voice-command button that lets you tell the phone who you want to call.

Flip the phone over and it has a camera for video calls (there’s also a secondary front facing camera), and even a panic button for sending SOS signals to your emergency contacts.

The phone doesn’t have an OS that harvests and sells your information, or an internet browser that uses cookies, or apps like Google, Facebook, and Amazon that create dossiers on your personal information and preferences. It does the job of a phone, and provides a feature that’s essential to the parent/child relationship… the feature of communication.

Designer: c www.h (Konka)