An Actual Tesla Smartphone Is Looking More Likely | Were the Concepts Right?
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In early 2021, designer Antonio De Rose and his ADR Studio Design lab released a mockup of what a Tesla phone might look like. They weren’t just concept images, either – ADR unleashed a full concept video (shown below) of just what a Tesla smartphone, dubbed the Model Pi or Model P, could be. It was part in fun, and partly to show off ADR’s continued design skills – the studio, after all, is already famous for its Apple product concepts.
Now there are rumors surfacing that Tesla really is planning to make a smartphone, and suddenly ADR’s concept images are starting to look a whole lot more interesting.
Let’s take a quick look at the Model Pi’s features, and see which are actually likely to make it onto a real-life version of a Tesla phone – there are some surprisingly great ideas here.
Designed for a Starlink Connection
Starlink is one of the most important pet projects of SpaceX and Elon Musk right now and is the perfect tie-in to a Tesla smartphone.
The goal is to create a network of low-orbit satellites to provide easy internet access no matter where you are in the world. It’s also becoming more and more valuable as time goes on (here’s where you can sign up for a trial account if there’s coverage in your area).
Starlink obviously still has a long way to go, but including native support in a Tesla phone seems like an obvious move.
Connections to Neuralink
This, like Neuralink itself, is more of a pipedream. Yes, it’s an Elon Musk baby and yes, it even has its own website, but the neurotech company isn’t anywhere close to releasing consumer-level brain-machine interface products yet. And they will absolutely have to be consumer-level for a Tesla phone to support native connections. The most we can hope for here are some interesting medical applications born of Neuralink research in several years, such as supporting assistive technologies.
A Four-Lens Camera System
ADR made a straightforward copy of the four-lens system that was included in the early iPhone 12 concept art. In real life, of course, the iPhone 12 maxed out at three lenses for its rear camera system, and there’s no telling what a Tesla phone would do. Cameras are often a way for new flagship models to try and stand out, but Tesla may have other ideas in mind.
Built-In Solar Charging
Solar charging is already available for many smartphones with the right accessory or case. The idea is that you leave it out in a sunny location and get your battery partly recharged as a result – and it’s obviously eco-friendly. It’s a fun concept to think about including native solar charging on the Model Pi, and a perfect fit for Tesla. The company has already made a name for itself with its classy solar panel shingles. But there’s just one big problem with turning the back of a smartphone into a solar panel: you can’t use a case. Otherwise, we would have probably seen more smartphone brands try this by now.
Ultrasonic Fingerprint Unlock
Some kind of biometrics is an obvious pick for a Tesla phone. The company could, theoretically, use some of its development in smart cams for self-driving Tesla cars and create a Face ID system. However, fingerprint unlocking is also a possibility. The ADR concept features the ultrasonic sensor located on the touchscreen itself.
Integration with Tesla Cars
We’ll end with another no-brainer: native support for Tesla vehicles would obviously be included in a Tesla phone. That could easily include lock and unlock features, remote commands (imagine using Summon mode directly from your phone), and monitoring all car specs from battery temperature to lighting. Not only would this be an easy choice, but it would also probably be a primary marketing point for the phone, too.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]