HTC Creative Director Daniel Hundt on the first-gen iPod, Leica M8 and the quandary of constant social connectivity

Every week, a new and interesting human being tackles our decidedly geeky take on the Proustian Q&A. This is the Engadget Questionnaire.

In this week's installment of your smattering of queries, HTC's Creative Director Daniel Hundt chats up the versatile smartphone and responsible consumption. For a look at all of the responses, cozy up on the other side of the break.

HTC Creative Director Daniel on the 1stgen iPod, Leica M8 and the quandry of constant social connectivity

What gadget do you depend on most?
No question, my smartphone.

Which gadget do you look back upon most fondly?
My gen-one iPod. I received it as a gift at the end of my first internship as a designer in Portland. It was a new way to consume and manage my music, combined with great design. I remember being so worried about scratches on the perfectly shaped stainless-steel back housing. It was very precious
to me at the time.

Which company does the most to push the industry?
I have to think of Google, which provides technology for the masses: we use its services and search engines almost unconsciously since it is so ingrained in how we live. I hope that we at HTC do this on a smaller scale in terms of user experience and design.

What is your operating system of choice?

What are your favorite gadget names?
I would say Walkman, Infobar and Instamatic.

What are your least favorite?
Anything with just an acronym and numbers.

Which app do you depend on most?
Besides email, it's navigation and Yelp. The best apps, you don't fully appreciate when you have them, but when you don't, you really miss them.

What traits do you most deplore in a smartphone?
The smartphone consumes you and becomes a habit. There is a fundamental question: does being socially connected all the time really enable you to be closer to people you care about? Is typing a message, status update or designating a "like" really more effective than a simple phone call?

Which do you most admire?
The endless possibilities, beyond peoples' imaginations. Through the creativity of users and developers, the smartphone can become anything you want it to be; that's why I am very lucky to work in this industry.

What is your idea of the perfect device?
No hardware at all - seamless and hardware-less communication through new display and communication technologies.

"There is a fundamental question: does being socially connected all the time really enable you to be closer to people you care about?"

What is your earliest gadget memory?
Probably my parents' record player that I was fascinated with and played with as a little kid. The analog and mechanical aspect of it had a very intriguing effect on me. Very unfortunate for the life expectancy of the device!

What technological advancement do you most admire?
Social networks and their vast social and political influence. Freedom of information is now available in places where it was not previously possible. This is a great thing, but poses more responsibility on each of us who consume and forward information.

Which do you most despise?
The information explosion over the last 10 years. We consume so many more meaningless things on a daily basis.

What fault are you most tolerant of in a gadget?
Maybe "fault" is the wrong word, but I am OK with sacrificing certain functions in order to improve and perfect the gadget's main cause: communication and consumption.

Which are you most intolerant of?
I am a hardware guy: poor build quality, meaningless and/or arbitrary design. This gives you the feeling that companies didn't go the full way to give you the best possible experience.

When has your smartphone been of the most help?
It might have been the flashlight app on a camping trip. Very low-tech.

What device do you covet most?
At the moment I don't covet a device badly, but a white Leica M8 would be nice.

If you could change one thing about your phone what would it be?
One week of battery life, without impacting the overall dimensions of the phone. Unfortunately battery technology is not there yet.

What does being connected mean to you?
Productivity on the one hand, along with a certain amount of distraction on the other.

When are you least likely to reply to an email?
During a Niners game.

When did you last disconnect?
Other than on a plane or being out of battery, I can't even think about a time. I should plan for a smartphone and internet vacation though!