A space engineer who detests smartphones and texting came up with a way to avoid using the multi-purpose devices: by building her own cell phone with a rotary dial. Justine Haupt hates smartphones so much that she decided to build her own rudimentary cell phone, with no LED screen, a clunky antenna and a rotary dial that does the only thing she expects a cell phone to do: make calls.
She spent three years working on the device, which is powered by a battery that lasts up to 30 hours, according to Fox News. The phone stands 4 inches tall, 3 inches wide and is about an inch thick. The handset is compatible with an AT&T prepaid SIM card for cell service.
Old school rotary-dial design
Haupt, who works as an astronomy engineer at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, used a 3D printer to create the cell phone case and also added two speed-dial buttons labelled "La" and "Da" for her mother, Lorraine Labate, and husband, David Van Popering. Moreover, there's also an e-paper display on the phone that allows her to view messages and missed call alerts.
"I work in technology but I don't like the culture around smartphones," she told New York Post. "I don't like the hyper-connected thing. I don't like the idea of being at someone's beck and call every moment and I don't need to have that level of access to the Internet."
Do-It yourself kits
The 34-year-old engineer wasn't planning on selling the rotary-dial cellphones to the general public but since her product has gone viral, she has been flooded with requests from fellow smartphone haters asking her to build a similar device for them so she now offers do-it-yourself kits. This kit allows users to put together their own version of the cell phone, but without the rotary dial, although a newer kit will be more inclusive, she said.
"It is actually my phone - I don't carry my flip phone with me anymore," Haupt said. "I never expected to go viral with this," she added. "But there's a surprising number of people who have identified with my philosophy of not liking smartphone culture -- I'm pleasantly surprised that those people are out there."