The foldable phone that turns into a bespoke clutch-style purse

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. fuse / fyuz / (v.) – (of ideas, cultures, etc.) to combine or be combined together

    The band members fused different musical styles in creating this album.

  2. personalize / ˈpɜr sə nlˌaɪz / (v.) – to design or change something to make it suitable for a particular person

    She personalized her room by hanging her own artwork on the wall.

  3. mass production / mæs prəˈdʌk ʃən / (n.) – the process of producing products in large quantities in a factory

    The mass production of our bestselling toys happens inside this factory.

  4. augmented reality / ˈɔgˌmɛn tɪd riˈæl ɪ ti / (n.) – an improved image of a real-world environment through the use of computer-generated images

    The museum offers an augmented reality tour that brings historical images to life with digital content.

  5. questionable / ˈkwɛs tʃə nə bəl / (adj.) – uncertain or undecided

    The future of our planet is questionable because of climate change.


Read the text below.

Fashion has fused with tech in a new phone that can be worn like a handbag.

It’s the latest concept design by Chinese manufacturer Honor. Could this be the future of phones? The Honor V Purse is a mobile phone that folds up into a small clutch-style purse. Unlike other foldable phones, its screens are meant to be seen even when not in use – so they are on the outside. The so-called ‘always-on displays’ (AODs) can be changed and personalized to match the user’s outfit.

The V Purse was unveiled by Honor CEO George Zhao at IFA Berlin. Zhao says it doesn’t really matter that the bag can’t actually hold anything inside it. “It’s the right time for us to consider the Honor V Purse concept because within smartphones are integrated camera, credit card, ID, the boarding pass, almost everything and keys. So you do not need to bring too many things with you when you travel. So this is a pretty new experience today,” he says.

The phone is less than 9 millimeters when folded, thinner than many high-end phones currently on the market. Its internal gyroscope can sense motion and the display reacts accordingly. And they are also interactive – Honor even suggests users could have a digital pet that they can play with on the screen. The idea is they can be customized to each individual.                             

Even though the device is not going into mass production, Honor has still recruited a host of artists to come up with designs for the external displays. Among them is Mexican artist Yunuen who has a history of using augmented reality in her work. She has mixed the traditional Mexican decorative craft of ‘papel picado’ with tech to create her design.

So will we all be wearing our phones five years from now? Or is this just a way to grab some headlines in a crowded market? “How commercially viable they are is very, very questionable. But it’s great to grab the headlines at a point where all mobile phones essentially are looking the same. You have to do something different,” says Ben Wood, chief analyst of CCS Insight.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • How do you think the fusion of fashion and technology in devices like the Honor V Purse enhances personal expression and individuality? Can wearable phones become a fashion statement? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is the fusion of fashion and technology necessary? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What kind of people do you think would be interested in a wearable phone like the Honor V Purse? Would you be interested in it? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The device is not going into mass production, but Honor recruited several people to come up with designs for the external displays. If you were to create a design for the Honor V Purse, what would it be? Why? Discuss.