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Crowdfunding And The Rebirth Of The Cordless Landline

model 500 08 72When's the last time you used a cordless landline phone? Or, more importantly, when's the last time you got really excited about using a cordless landline phone?

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 design.

"The home 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 project.

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 production costs.

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 charged.

"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]

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