MC1: A Phone With “Miss Calling”

Tagged the mobile phone made exclusively for Filipinos, the MC1 is essentially any ordinary cellphone with one additional feature: you can make missed calls on purpose.

To understand the true value of a missed call, or in local vernacular, miskol, it is necessary to look into the essence of what happens to be the 2007 Sawikaan Salita ng Taon (Word of the Year). In this event, the miskol, entered by Ateneo de Naga professor Adrian Remodo, was deemed most descriptive of our present lifestyle and values. That we find it more sensible to make a non-call to let the other ringing phone know something’s up, whether in emergency or triviality. Mostly because it’s cheaper.

…have you ever had that awkward moment when you place your hand in between your phone and your face just to be able to cancel that call? Or how about that time you cursed at your boyfriend or even your own mother for answering a call which they are supposed to miss? With an MC button you don’t even have to put your phone against your ear and you would never have to worry about your load going down the drain for an “interrupted” miss-calling.

First, I’d have to say the winning word of the year wasn’t that much of a revelation because “miskol”, together with the runner-up “friendster” and last year’s winner “lobat” (low battery), has been in our slang vocabulary for so long now that it doesn’t feel characteristic of the particular year it was declared the winner. What has happened this 2007? A lot. Second, is our country unique in this miss calling ritual? (Edit: It isn’t.)

The word of the year might not be such a waste if the MC1 comes out this year. But if you’ll really think about it, one does not need a physical phone to set up a miss calling feature, except maybe because the really kuripot might want a dedicated button for it. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to develop a mobile application that works well and works everywhere—though that should be the next step in the mobile arena.

Perhaps someone could follow in the innovative footsteps of Jaxtr or Jaiku or GrandCentral. Oh looky, 2 out of 3 are Google acquisitions already! Perhaps we need Google to create a real paradigm shift in mobile communication. Sorry, Apple, you closed the door with your iPhone 1.1.1 firmware update; you were supposed to think different! Nokia, you might seem a bit more sexy because of this, but I wish for every phone, regardless of brand, to work as well as you claim.

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Design + code + words for a better web, made in the Philippines by Sophia Lucero.