Space engineer creates Rotary Cellphone to combat phone addiction

Smartphones have completely changed the way we communicate and have fun in recent years. Some people feel too distracted by smartphones, while for some, a cellphone is too much of good things.

A New York space engineer Justine Haupt never liked smartphones. It is for this reason that until recently, she used an LG flip phone, but even this device was too technological for her because it allowed her to send and receive text messages. So she decided to build a mobile with a rotary dial by herself.

Born to combat distractions from notifications, the device is called “Rotary Cellphone.” Although it is not the first experiment that involves abandoning the smartphone for something simpler, this phone is decidedly unique: it uses a rotating disk similar to those mounted on the first landline telephone. For those who don’t know about such a phone, you have to put your finger in the hole corresponding to the selected number and turn the disc up to the metal stop and then release it.

The ePaper display shows useful information such as missed calls.
The ePaper display shows useful information such as missed calls.

Although the project has a decidedly vintage base, there are also modern tricks. It is also equipped with a screen curved with electronic paper, which can display useful information such as missed calls. The operation of the phone is governed by an Arduino board, the hardware platform developed in Ivrea.

The physical pieces, including the rotating disk, come from an old Western Electric Timeline phone, chosen for its small size compared to other phones of the time. All the components are integrated into a 3D printed enclosure.

This unique cellphone has several other features, such as a 10-LED Signal Meter module to indicate the signal situation, customizable contact shortcuts on physical keys, and a switch to turn the device on or off. Its 1,200mAh battery has an autonomy of 24 hours.

Justine Haupt shared all the steps of making the Rotary Cellphone and all the technical documentation needed on her website so that anyone could create their own cell phone with a rotating dial.

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