Future tech: Siemens Helium handset

We caught a glimpse of Siemens' swanky new concept phone in Germany last week.

Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices is putting all its efforts into becoming greener, and the new Siemens Gigaset Helium handset underlines that aim. It features eco technologies and is made from high quality, glossy white, eco-friendly plastic.

Call your friends, save the world

About the size of an Apple iPhone, the Siemens Gigaset Helium handset sits comfortably in your hand. The curvy handset slides off its docking station, where its solar power battery is situated.

Its menu is intuitive, and key info such as caller ID and the phone's multimedia functions are displayed on the widescreen OLED screen at the front of the device. The Helium phone also features 3D surround speakers for what Siemens says is a "more natural sound".

The Siemens Gigaset Helium won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award earlier this year. Hans-Henning Brabänder, from Siemens' design management team, told us that the handset is still in development. It's at least two years away from lining up on the shelves of Carphone Warehouse.

Are we ready to go green?

The potential availability of such an eco-phone begs an obvious question: are we ready to buy green gadgets?

Ultimately, the majority of today's consumers are guided less by their conscience, and more by the feature-set of the phone itself. Or its image. Apple's iPhone is a classic example of this. And the power consumption of the average flatscreen TV isn't stopping happy shoppers snapping up plasmas at Currys.

Perhaps in two years time, attitudes will have changed.