Rotary Mechanical Smartphone combines vintage rotary dial and modern technology

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The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)

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Created by New Zealand-based designer Richard Clarkson, the Rotary Mechanical Smartphone is a one-of-a-kind device that has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone. It represents an attempt at combining digital technologies and physical, mechanical systems, thus making cutting edge technology more tangible. The phone comes with two interchangeable brass dials (a rotary one and a numeric keypad), along with a copper body and a small LCD screen. Richard did not confine himself just to the concept, but actually built a prototype of his invention.

Richard Clarkson is an Industrial Design student at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. "The design of the phone references both steampunk and minimalistic genres to combine and contrast the different forms and surface finishes," Clarkson says. In some respects, it is similar to Amid Moradganjeh's Rimino concept, especially because of the attempt to add more human nature to an electronic device.

The brass dials are hand finished, and the act of changing them "is inspired from changing the lenses on a camera." The smartphone's electroplated body was created using a 3D printing process, and is finished with a paint that's supposed to "improve aesthetically" over time, increasing the vintage look.

"Rotary Mechanical is a question not only about the ever increasing 'digital take-over' of everything in our lives but also what is lost when this happens," Clarkson explains. The smartphone would, therefore, be a perfect match to Datamancer's Steampunk Laptop. Unlike the Datamancer's masterpiece, however, the Rotary Mechanical Smartphone is not yet for sale.

Source: Yanko Design

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