Mister Trevor Prideaux, a British man born without an arm on the left side of his body, now has what we're pretty sure is the world's first prosthetic limb with a built-in smartphone dock. Not only that, but he's using the cool Nokia C7, a device that not only Chris Davies reviewed here on SlashGear, your humble narrator Chris Burns wrote a review for the USA side of things as well. Now one of these magical little devices sits in the hardened arm of a Brit - hows that for taking your "handicap" and making it work in your favor. Plain old human arm not looking so good to you now, is it?
The business of prosthetic bits doesn't come up often here on SlashGear, but when it does, it's awesome. Everything from a £35K artificial hand to a full-on tentacle to a Dalek-style gripper has us applauding the industrial design world for their class. Now we've got this fellow Prideaux together with no less than official Nokia communications chiefs and a group of medical experts who've together created this special custom build.
What they've done here is to carve a phone-shaped fibreglass cradle into prototype arm build, this cradle able to hold and grip Prideaux's Nokia C7. Prideaux believes this to be the first time this setup has been executed in the world, and notes that he's proud to be part of the project:
"I can now take calls and make texts just by using my one hand, while the phone sits inside my arm. The phone slots smoothly and securely within my limb and is easily removable, when required. I think this would help a lot of people with prosthethic arms - especially those who were not born with the disability. People who have had motorbike crashes and soldiers who have lost limbs - they could all benefit from this." - Prideaux
Prideaux is a caterer by trade, and has always had his limbs specially made at a place by the name of Exeter Mobility Centre in Devon. Once he had the idea to add a holster for a smartphone in his prosthetic arm, he contacted Apple to try to get ahold of a blank iPhone casing to test the idea out, but he notes that the group "refused to co-operate." Next he went to his local O2 carrier when it was time to upgrade the device he already had to a new Nokia, the Nokia crew agreed to help him and the technicians at Exeter Mobility Centre to create the new limb.
Specifically it was prosthethist Steve Gallichan, undergraduate worker Sarah Bennett, and technician Les Street and created a prototype of the arm. The fiber cast of the phone was laminated and built into the limb where it could hold Prideaux's mobile device.
"Now when I get call I can either hold my arm up to my ear or put it on speaker phone. I can also take it out if I need to. Texting is also much easier and a lot safer. I am hugely grateful to the people EMC. This is a leap forward which has helped me out a lot and can also aid others." - Prixeaux
Now we've just got to get something like that for human skin implants as well - could you live with just one size? I imagine your favorite smartphone would really, truly have to be your favorite for you to be able to choose one mold. Love it all!