Zumbafone: The secret phone from the land of Zumba Lumba

Don’t worry – besides the bits in the headline, absolutely nothing about this story is weird. Okay, I lied. It’s all kind of weird.

The BBC is running a piece on something called the “Zumbafone” by IA Technology. Never heard of’em? That’s because you haven’t been studying your “military ejector seat electronics” manufacturers well enough.

Apparently the whole shebang is so hush-hush that the BBC had to kill their cameras for much of the tour – which, to be honest, seems like a bit of a sham to make things a bit more interesting. The Zumbafone is essentially a two piece handset: a data handling unit with a screen, and an earpiece which attaches to the back of the other unit and controls the phone. If you get a text while wearing the earpiece, it’s converted from text to voice and read back to you. Want to respond? Tap a button on the earpiece, speak your text, and it’ll handle the transcription with what they’re claiming is a “fully accurate voice recognition system”. Contacts and data are stored in the cloud (or, as they call it, “Zumba Lumba”), essentially bricking the whole thing if someone walks off with it. It’s a nifty idea, but it seems like a whole lot of excitement and mystery about.. well, not much.

We’re not quite sure what to make of it yet. What do you think?