Space Scientist Who Hates Cell Phones Builds One with a Rotary Dial


Although smartphones give us a world of opportunities that can fit in a pocket, some people don’t like to use this technology.


Pew Research reports that 96% of Americans currently own a cell phone of some variety. That means 4% are still avoiding this technology for some reason.


Justine Haupt is one of those people who fall into the 4% category. Although she isn’t opposed to the idea of a cell phone, she isn’t a fan of smartphones – or texting.


When she needed to have a cell phone, Haupt did what any other anti-smartphone space scientist would do. She decided to build one that fit her needs.


The design is unique in that it incorporates a rotary dial. It took Haupt three years to build the device, but her efforts have evidently touched a nerve with many people. Once word got out about her invention, the website that she used to talk about her “retro” cell phone crashed because of how many people visited it searching for information.


Details of the Rotary Dial Cell Phone


The cell phone that Haupt created to use is a straightforward design. It’s about three inches wide, four inches tall, and online one inch thick. Haupt accesses the cellular network through a prepaid SIM card through AT&T – a product that is also compatible with cell phone radio.


Haupt used a 3-D printer to create the case for her rotary cell phone. She added speed-dialing buttons so that calling her mother or husband only took a click instead of a full dialing process. Then an e-paper display became part of the design so that Justine can see any missed calls or waiting messages.


She says that the reason behind her cell phone creation involves the current smartphone approach. “I work in technology, but I don’t like the culture around smartphones,” Haupt told reporters. “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.”


You Can Create Your Own Version of the Rotary Phone


Haupt wasn’t trying to start a side hustle with her three-year effort to create a rotary phone, but it has turned into an incredible opportunity for her. Interest levels are so strong for her device that she created a kit that users can use to put together a version of the small phone – although the first effort doesn’t include the rotary dial.


A newer kit that Justine plans to release shortly will include the rotary feature after being “inundated with emails” from individuals who want to purchase the phone.


Haupt says that she is pleasantly surprised to know that there are plenty of people out there who share her perspective on constant connections. She never expected it to go viral, but the result of her efforts is creating new relationships.


Haupt currently works as an astronomy engineer at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

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