A Rotary Dial Cell Phone for the Old at Heart

Image Credit: Justine Haupt

Even if you sometimes long for the “good ol’ days” or get a pang of nostalgia when you see a rotary dial phone hanging on the wall (in a museum, I guess), I’m not sure there is really anyone who thinks rotary dial was like, more efficient or the way to go.

Image Credit: Justine Haupt

That said, if you’re totally into retro things and living like the pioneers did – or you just cannot wrap your brain around modern technology no matter how hard you try – you’re going to love this effort from engineer Justine Haupt of the Cosmology Instrumentation Group at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Because she’s created a totally new cellphone that uses a rotary dial instead of those newfangled touch screens everyone’s always going on about.

Image Credit: Justine Haupt

To make it, she used a dial from a classic Trimline telephone and crafted the body from an Arduino interface and Adafruit parts.

She actually had the idea for the phone, and put that plan into action, for herself – she was tired of being distracted by the bells and whistles offered by her modern phone.

Image Credit: Justine Haupt

“Why a rotary cellphone?”

She writes on her website.

“Because in a finicky, annoying, touchscreen world of hyperconnected people using phones they have no control over or understanding of, I wanted something that would be entirely mine, personal, and absolutely tactile, while also giving me an excuse for not texting.

So it’s not just a show-and-tell piece. My intent is to use it as my primary phone. It fits in a pocket; It’s reasonably compact; calling the people I most often call is faster than with my old phone, and the battery lasts almost 24 hours.”

Image Credit: Justine Haupt

Well, good for Justine! It’s awesome that she had the ability to create something that would work perfectly for her life and needs, and who knows?

Maybe there are other monsters out there who would prefer to make an actual call instead of texting.


Image Credit: Justine Haupt

Oh, and p.s., she’s created a kit that you can buy through robotics company skysedge.us in order to make your very own!

Please, please let us know how that turns out, and whether your friends and family try to commit you to a mental institution after you show it off.