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About Cellphone Future with 9 Windows & Function Model

March 5, 2021

The evolution of technical systems is governed by objective laws. This means that a modern cell phone, for example, looks and operates as it does not because of the creativity of the designer. Of course, Jony Ive is extremely talented and his work changed our world, he and his team didn’t have any other options but to create the iPhone the way they did. In this post, we will explain how can we predict the cellphone future with 9 Windows.

The direction of system evolution

The main direction of evolution is to satisfy customer needs. So, what is the main driver of system development?

Systems are not getting developed all at once. As they consist of several components, every component is developed and evolved separately, and as a result, these system components are developed to different levels. Some system parts are very advanced while others fall behind.

During the evolution of a technical system the more advanced components are in conflict with the less developed ones. Elimination of these conflicts (or contradictions) is the driver of technical evolution.

Some history

The original phone, or a telephone, was a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. In other words, originally, the phone was created to allow people to communicate.

To keep up with the demand, every phone user had a phone cable running to his home or office. It’s expensive, hard to maintain, and simply cumbersome.

Today, everyone has a cellphone in his pocket. The end-user does not have any wires, and he can use the phone to communicate almost anywhere in the world.

Our cellphone became an integrated part of us like clothes, food, wristwatch, and so on. More than that, today’s cellphone is not much of a “telephone” anymore. The original function of voice communication is just a small percentage of what the cellphone can do.

As a result, the initial purpose of the phone is becoming less prominent. In fact, the voice communication component of the cellphone became the least developed and invested into over time.
Eventually, the cell phone will lose its purpose of voice communication altogether.

What’s next?

Let’s analyze how the primary phone function will disappear from a cellphone. Which system will take over the voice communication function? For that, we’ll use 9 Windows to help us with.

9 Windows is a System Operator and it helps us think in space and in time. 9 Windows tool is now available in PRIZ Innovation Platform.

How is the 9 Windows System Operator working?

 9 Windows is 3 X 3 matrix which make 9 fields as shown on the image below:

The horizontal axis describes TIME. The time split into three phases PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. To clarify, here is an example:

  • PAST – Seed
  • PRESENT – Tree
  • FUTURE – Fruits

The vertical axis refers to SPACE and also split into three parts: SUBSYSTEM, SYSTEM, and SUPERSYSTEM. These parts related hierarchically: Subsystem is a part of the System, while System is a part of a Supersystem. An example:

  • SUBSYSTEM – Leaf
  • SYSTEM – Tree
  • SUPERSYSTEM – Forest

The actual process is pretty simple. We need to fill all 9 windows in a specific order as shown in the image above. This will help us think and potentially predict the future.

Cellphone analysis using 9 Windows

Now, let’s look into the specifics of a cellphone. Here, we already filled the first 6 windows describing past and present.


The system at Present, we took a Cellular phone and emphasized the most important feature. The cellphone is always “traveling” together with the person.

Subsystem – components of the System are the person and the phone

Supersystem consists of network of antennas and servers.


In the past, we used wired phones in which

Subsystem was a person, phone, and a wire.

Supersystem contained a network of wires and phone stations respectively.


Here we need to get creative.

Subsystem: If we analyze and continue with the Subsystem sequence it would be reasonable to leave the only  Person in the Future:

Supersystem: Our analysis shows that the Supersystem in the Future should also include only people as shown below:

System: Following the same logic, we concluded that in the Future Phone functions will be delegated to a Person: Person = Phone.

The completed 9 Windows matrix below:

What does it mean?

Now, this is interesting. What does it really mean that person is on the phone. Let’s take it a bit further and try to make sense of it.

When we are close enough to each other, we can easily talk without even rating our voices. While talking, we create mechanical waves which directly interact with the ear membrane of the listener. This is the cheapest and high-quality way of communicating because nothing else is needed. In this “system” everything is already built-in our body.

In the case of greater distances, the mechanical waves we produce are simply not strong enough to reach the listener, so we use a phone to communicate. Of course, nowadays, we are most likely to use a cellphone.

The cellphone is quite a complex device, or how we like to call it, a system. This system is built to convert mechanical waves to electromagnetic and transmit them (through a series of additional mechanisms like antennas), amplifiers, etc…) to another cellphone. There, the electromagnetic waves are converted back to mechanical waves, so the listener can hear.

Functional model

Next, we’ve built a functional model of communication through a cellphone.

Refer to one of our previous blogs for more examples of functional model A problem solver is the main roadblock in problem-solving processes.

Obviously, this model is a very simplified functional model. But it clearly shows that ACOUSTIC WAVES possess the highest functional rank of this communication system, while CELLPHONES and ELECTRO-MAGNETIC WAVES AMPLIFIER (antennas, servers, etc.) have very low functional rank and are subject to trimming.

Both, 9 Windows and Functional Modeling, show that we don’t necessarily need electromagnetic waves and all electro-magnetic components, we can successfully use acoustic waves and relevant amplifiers.


The Functional Model below shows how we see the future of the communication system of Person = Phone:

In the future, we will be able to communicate directly to people anywhere in the world, like they are standing next to us. At the same time, cellphones will lose a classical communication function.

9 Windows tool is embedded into PRIZ Guru Innovation platform. This is an excellent instrument for thinking. Please login to the ONLINE PLATFORM, choose 9 Windows in the Creative tools list, and start to analyze and predict the future.

LOGIN to PRIZ Innovation Platform and start your project.

Good luck.

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