Designer Richard Clarkson has created a conceptual smartphone with a rotary dial.
The Rotary Mechanical Smartphone combines a digital touch-screen on the front with interchangeable mechanical dials on the back.
The painted surface of the case will wear away in time to reveal the electroplated copper beneath.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
The body is electroplated copper which is then painted and designed to improve aesthetically as is wears.
The design of the phone references both steampunk and minimalistic genres to combine and contrast the different forms and surface finishes.