Disposable Phone
March 4, 2004 10:53 PM   Subscribe

The Disposable Phone. With 60 minutes of calling time and a hands free attachment, it's the thickness of three credit cards and made from recycled paper products. Bizarre.
posted by bluedaniel (20 comments total)
Hmmm... Dieceland's site doesn't look so good these days. The wayback machine tells a different story from just a few months ago.
posted by daver at 11:18 PM on March 4, 2004

One thing I had noticed was the date of the story. I caught it via a friend's head's up, and thought it bizarre enough to post. I suppose the ol' idea never took off, eh?

Hell, considering how much mass communications I deal with personally, I'm surprised I don't have a standard cell phone as of yet. A disposable phone, be it extinct already or not, doesn't help the temptation mind you.

And to think, we still use the term "dial" in radio promos ("dial 1-800-555-5555"), I wonder if anyone's thought that term extinct now as well.
posted by bluedaniel at 11:41 PM on March 4, 2004

I remember two years ago I read a similar article about a company called Hop-on that was trying to patent its disposable cell phones.. but it turned out they were recycled Nokias. These sound a lot cooler.. it will be interesting to see how popular they become.
posted by gatorae at 11:45 PM on March 4, 2004

At $20 for an hour of airtime, it doesn't sound like such a good deal to me.

Maybe they just couldn't make it cheap enough, or figure out how to arrange service for the phones (I imagine the big companies wouldn't be happy at losing their package deals to the disposable phone).
posted by Dasein at 12:16 AM on March 5, 2004

Anybody check out that cereal monster "invention" on the second page? This lady has some time on her hands.
posted by quadog at 1:48 AM on March 5, 2004

Altschul thought up the invention after being tempted to toss her cell phone out of her car in frustration over a bad connection. She realized cell phones were too expansive to lose or throw away
posted by brettski at 1:52 AM on March 5, 2004

i used to own the domain disposablecellphones.net.

i sold it for $12 i think....

not much future for them. What's the point anyway?
posted by rabbit at 2:04 AM on March 5, 2004

Color me green, but should we even be producing any disposable techno-gadgetry?
posted by yoga at 4:16 AM on March 5, 2004

Disposable cellphones are the future. They are a great and IMPORTANT idea. Cellphones are a disposal problem. How many old phones do you have laying around, or have you thrown away? Did you dispose of the batteries properly?

Most cellphones have expensive proprietary batteries. They don't last much more than a year. The technology changes rapidly. People tend to replace phones rather than batteries. See why the disposable is a good idea?

Outgoing calls only would be attractive to some folks, a waste of time for others. This is a problem with their idea. Can they add a ringer easily enough?

What attracts me to disposable technology is the cheaper price. I don't like buying expensive gadgets that are too easily broken. Something you have to hold to use is something too likely to get dropped.
posted by Goofyy at 4:48 AM on March 5, 2004

The thing that attracts me to the idea of a disposable cellphone would be the way the minutes worked more than anything else. Especially if they lasted a long time. I'd like to get a cellphone for my car, just in case I run out of gas or blow a tire or something, but the cheapest plans I can find will run me $10-$15 a month just to keep the phone active. Even with so called pre-paid plans, the minutes expire unless you buy more. If I could get a disposable that had minutes that didn't expire for a year or so, I'd buy one, and keep it in the car.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:12 AM on March 5, 2004

In the united states, you can take any old phone and throw it in your car. Even without a service plan you can make a call to 911. It's not just a good idea, it's the law.

True in most other countries as well, although I believe the dial string is 112.
posted by daver at 7:18 AM on March 5, 2004

These phones are completely vaporware, they've been "coming soon" for at least three years now.
posted by mrbill at 7:34 AM on March 5, 2004

What attracts me to disposable technology is the cheaper price. I don't like buying expensive gadgets that are too easily broken.

You kinda/sorta had me up until this statement. The problem isn't that they are too expensive. The problem is that they are so cheap that people change them like underwear and the "old" tech is thrown into the landfill. Who pays for phones now? There is ALWAYS at least one model that is free on activation afterall.

Less than needing disposable phones, what we need is the ability to have upgradeable and transferable phones. Now that we (American's at least) can switch phone companies so easily, we should also be able to have phone portability. I shouldn't be required to get a new phone when I get a new service, yet each time I have switched services I have been forced to get a new phone (and a new batery charger, and a new headset, etc, etc)
posted by terrapin at 7:57 AM on March 5, 2004

Just in via Slashdot: disposible computers. They say that it will initially "will be used in industrial-specific applications as an enhanced and secure RFID device" which seems silly when you can get cheap, reusable alterantives already.

I suppose theres too much hippie and technoelitist in me to consider disposible electronics a -good- thing.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:22 AM on March 5, 2004

Forgive me but I have to ask.

Was anyone else gravely disturbed by this image on page two, discussing the inventor's other patents?

posted by Peter H at 9:29 AM on March 5, 2004

Leave that poor bear alone!
posted by Peter H at 9:29 AM on March 5, 2004

Jokes aside, do you know how old this article is? I saw a piece on this lady on Tech TV - about inventors and failed ideas. In the piece it talked about how she made millions on a 90210 board game and put all the money into the phones, only to have the company she paid to manufacture the design rip her off and leave her penniless with a phoney product. Really sad, actually.
posted by Peter H at 9:52 AM on March 5, 2004

daver - I know about connecting to 911 without minutes. But it's always been my impression that 911 was for, you know, real emergencies that require police or ambulances or something. Not 'I'm too stupid to buy gas' emergencies which are the kind I'm more worried about.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:10 PM on March 5, 2004

I'm with jacquilynne; I'd be all over this if it actually existed. The fact that it doesn't accept incoming calls (& therefore doesn't ring) is bonus. AAA could give these out with membership instead of a plastic card, preprogrammed with their 800 number.

Although, again, the whole plan sorta falls apart in light of the fact that there's no such thing yet.
posted by obloquy at 3:05 PM on March 6, 2004

Growing up I was always taught that it's better to have quality over quantity.

Meaning... it might cost more in the short term, but it will outlast 5 of the cheap ones.

Over a lifetime one can save many (many) thousands of dollars this way.
posted by LoopSouth at 1:12 PM on March 8, 2004

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