The folks at Detraform, a
Montreal-based boutique electronics brand, are hoping their first and flagship
product, the model 500 telephone, will become a new icon in home telephone
telephone has a proud design history to build on and many of us have an
emotional connection to these charming older machines. I wanted to reference
the best of these designs while contributing something fresh and
incorporating a modern but subtle interface” says Joel Blair, the driving force behind
The model 500 offers form and function without all of the frills.
The phone’s pared-down features include hands free speaker phone, a simple push
to talk intercom system, and caller ID with 20 number memory–all housed in a durable
and visually stunning polished polycarbonate and anodized aluminum shell.
But the design isn’t the only thing unique about the product.
Blair is also using crowdfunding as a way to validate the concept and cover
Detraform will use the funds received from pre-orders to complete
engineering and commercialization. If they
reach their funding goal, customers should expect to receive their new phones
in just about nine months. If they don’t, their pre-order customers won’t be
“Crowdfunding presents a way forward, offering start-ups effective
market research and development capital. This new funding model is really
changing the landscape for the designer entrepreneur” Blair added.
If the recent success of Scott
Wilson & MNML is any indication, they just might be onto something. In
November 2010, Wilson’s group used crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to secure 13,512 backers and
more than $941,718 for a kit that
turns iPod Nanos into wristwatches–thoroughly crushing their initial target of $15,000.
Will Joel Blair and the team at Detraform be able to achieve
similar success? With just over 60 days left in their crowdfunding campaign, it
looks like we’ll know soon enough.
[photo by Will Lew]