Rotary Mechanical Smartphone
by Richard Clarkson

| 12 comments

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

Designer Richard Clarkson has created a conceptual smartphone with a rotary dial.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone combines a digital touch-screen on the front with interchangeable mechanical dials on the back.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

The painted surface of the case will wear away in time to reveal the electroplated copper beneath.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

More mobile phones on Dezeen »

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

Here are some more details from Richard Clarkson:


Digital vs. Mechanical – Rotary Mechanical Smartphone is a concept designed by Richard Clarkson that combines and synthesizes digital technologies and physical mechanical systems in order to elicit more value in our everyday objects.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

The rotary mechanical smartphone is based on the idea of incorporating more feeling and life into our everyday digital objects. In modern times these objects have come to define us, but who and what defines these objects? Are we happy with generic rectangles of a touchscreen or do we want something with more tangibility, something with more life, something with more aura?

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

I have looked at where industrial design has come from, and where it might be going to, and by doing so have tried to create an object that is true to both, a harmonious combination of mechanical parts and digital technologies.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

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.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

There are two interchangeable brass dials, a true rotary dial and a button dial, the act of changing these is inspired from changing the lenses on a camera.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

The body is electroplated copper which is then painted and designed to improve aesthetically as is wears.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

The design of the phone references both steampunk and minimalistic genres to combine and contrast the different forms and surface finishes.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    This looks like the sort of smartphone that would be used in David Lynch's "Dune."

  • Ben Lark

    Love the steampunk dial side but the interterface on the tough screen side just seems to have been chucked together, disappointing considering the dial side.

  • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

    Demo video, please?

  • andysuth

    Steam Punk Smart phone, nice, but not clear or intuitive how to operate!

    -AS

  • guy

    in a way its very cool; incorporating nostalgia into a product to increase our attachement to objects and remind us of when they were truly valuable and non-disposable. All wasted in 3 or 4 years when the underlying technology becomes obsolete, though.

  • Matt Smith

    Looks interesting but how does it actually work? Is there a benefit in the rotary wheel, or is at least comparable to a touchscreen? or are we removing the efficiency of modern phones and the touchscreen in order to give this product a superfluous 'aura'? Practicality issues around the wearing away of the paint, does it come off on our hands and clothes? wouldn't copper wear in it's own innate and beautiful way? and appears very cumbersome – so much so we need to carry it around in a bag.. and lastly – big brass phillips head screws!… there must be a more refined, considered answer to this. A very basic concept at best. A physical model of an initial concept sketch.

  • mk1

    steampunk is so 2010

  • roberto

    I will wait for mechanical screen. It is possible to make one, probably it has to be made like old children game of drawing with to rotating handles.

  • http://www.phonetipsandtricks.com PhoneTipsAndTricks

    Would love to hear the ringtone. I'm wondering if it's more old school "riiiing riiiing……riiiing riiiing", or locomotive?

  • CROFTdesign

    i believe it'd be a much more interesting project if the rotary dial was removable and adaptable to a REAL smartphone. This way, if you're going to wear the thing around, at least it's the latest technology, otherwise, why do something so space-consuming in the first place? …I could definitely see this work itself into a movie.

  • truthnbeauty

    Does this design really 'elicit more value in our everyday objects'?

    Thanks for the 'divine inspiration'!!! I'm off to perfect sealing wax for emails!!!

    Richard……….don't bother to apply for a design position at Apple.

    • andrew

      Yes, because apple is the only place one aspires to work for.