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Light Phone: The Cellphone Your Grandparents Have Dreamed Of

Kickstarter has answered the prayers of grandparents, hermits, and minimalists everywhere. Already having crossed its goal of $200,000 with over a month to spare, the ultra-simplified Light Phone is on its way to becoming a reality. At first glance the device more resembles a garage door opener or a small television remote than a modern mobile phone. Shipping May 2016 for $100, the Light Phone is built for those not interested in the complexities of smartphones.

The device itself is as barebones as possible. A plain white rectangle, the Light Phone—as demonstrated by its Kickstarter video—fits in a standard size wallet.  The face of the phone features only a number pad and an LED dot matrix display. Its features are as minimalist as its appearance with the intent that the user pays it as little mind as possible. It stores a maximum of ten phone numbers for quick dial and has a potential battery life of twenty days. No service contract applies, as the device works on prepaid minutes. It does not text, it has no camera, and there is no internet access.  The Light Phone’s only function is to send and receive calls.

For those not fully committed to the ascetic lifestyle but still wishing for some time away from their smartphone’s stream of notification, the Light Phone comes with an app that allows it to interface with their smartphone. Calls and messages can be forwarded between the devices, allowing one to leave the abundant features of their smartphone at home while still receiving phone calls. While it is certain that as mobile devices grow more involved and interconnected some will have the desire to simplify and disconnect, some question still remains as to how long it will remain practical to do so.  With mobile devices taking on greater responsibility—banking, navigation, access of information—is there a time limit on how long until luxury becomes necessity?


About Ethan Zelinskas

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