Mobile Technology

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone combines vintage rotary dial and modern technology

The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
View 15 Images
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
1/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
2/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
3/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
4/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
5/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
6/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
7/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
8/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
9/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
10/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
11/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
12/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
13/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
14/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)
15/15
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone (Photo: Richard Clarkson)

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

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

9 comments
Mr Stiffy
Once upon a time, way way way way way way way (technology is logarithmically speeding up exponentially)... way way way way back...... I think about 5 years or so AFTER the tone dial (keypad) phones with the AUTO REDIAL button and the exchanges were geared up to handle it..... My TONE DIAL phone broke and the only phone I had to use was the old PULSE DIAL - the the HORRIBLE (extra double plus HORRIBLE) ------ ROTARY DIAL PHONE (without redial) was all that there was to fall back on for about 2 or 3 weeks...... By christ I hated that thing..... You people who never grew up with the pulse dial phones - they are an extremely HORRIBLE idea. There is nothing fun, fast, expedient, to the point, functional, romantic, retro, cool, or chic about the damned things. In the time that you have DIALed two numbers on the rotary phone, you could have entered all 8 digits on a keypad phone. If you have to switch BACK to a pulse or rotary dial phone and then have to make say 100 or more numbers a day on a pulse dial phone.... Within 10 phone calls - all your going to want to do is smash them all with a hammer... I am not saying what the New Zealander has done is bad in an artistic or functional sense... It\'s that rotary or pulse dial type phones - in the real world - really ARE just awful.
Griffin
@mr stuffy- I\'ve seen many of your comments. Do you ever have anything GOOD to say? Personally, I think the fact that it comes with interchangeable panels is ingenious- Sometimes we need to switch gears, slow down,STOP... and just smell the roses. To me,that\'s what this idea is about. Some people don\'t like speed or need to make hundreds of calls a day,anyway!
Captain Obvious
Hey, it\'s art. Not meant to be useful. Just cool to pull out and \"dial\" someone and watch everybody\'s reactions. \"Cool\" is why people pay extra for Apple computers. (Not me.)
Max Houston
I want one !!
Raul
Like something our of Blade Runner, neat, how much are they?...
Max Mad
Wow, it\'ll be nice to ONCE AGAIN remember peoples phone numbers and actually taking the patience to dial their number! COMING UP NEXT: PHONE BOOTHS!!! Because no one else CARES to hear your phone conversations (during their dinner time, or cab, bus, train ride, or peaceful quiet time), NOR have to put up with your YELLING ON THE PHONE while at it!!!
Nick Herbert
Tactility & terrific talking technology - Yes please
Gregg Eshelman
There are at least two companies selling a tiny electronic gizmo to fit inside old rotary dial phones to convert their output to DTMF tones. They even have a way to dial the * and # functions.
Payu Kaneshiro
I think the rotary dial and touch screen makes its unique yet cool. I liked it!
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.