Love is Blind: Concept Cell Phone for the Visually Impaired

To help visually impaired people make and receive phone calls, designer Andres Parada has completely rethought the way cell phones operate. This is his design, which he calls The Loop; it’s a two-piece mobile phone that incorporates several features which make dialing, answering and talking much easier for blind users. It doesn’t have a screen or a keypad like a conventional phone – those elements are replaced with features that make the phone simple to operate sight unseen.

The design was submitted in a contest for LG Electronics. It features a scroll for dialing phone numbers, which is a tactile rather than visual means of inputting information. The user simply turns the scroll wheel to select numbers 0-9 for the phone to dial. This feature would require the user to memorize the numbers they want to dial, so perhaps a future generation of the design could incorporate a speed dial feature.

One piece of the phone clips onto the user’s clothing or hangs around the neck on a strap; the other piece slips onto the user’s ear just like any other hands-free headset. The earpiece can be simply reconnected to the larger piece when the phone isn’t in use or when the user wants to terminate a call. The real beauty of this design is that when in use, it looks just like any other phone.

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See more in Phones & Mobile or under Gadgets. June, 2010.