Near twenty years ago, Christina Cyr and Linda Inagawa started working at Microsoft on the same day. All week they kept finding their new colleagues mixing them up, until on the Friday they finally met. They've been friends ever since -- and now, they've teamed up to change the way mobile phones are designed.
Cyr and Inagawa's company is called Dtoor -- which stands for "Designing the opposite of rectangle" -- and their first planned product is the Cyrcle, a round mobile phone.
It's been years since smartphones looked fun. The wacky looks of the teardrop-shaped Nokia 7600 or stick-like Nokia 7280 are a distant memory in this era of shiny rectangles. But the potential of a different design isn't just about novelty. With so many mainstream manufacturers using the same Android software in a crowded market, companies are desperate to differentiate their products. There's only so far they can get with incremental upgrades to the camera or gimmicky innovations like fingerprint sensors, and in fact Apple, Samsung and others are already diversifying their mobile line-up with smartwatches, wearables and virtual reality devices. So hey, maybe it's time to re-energise the smartphone itself with some more interesting designs than the boring old rectangle.