Steampunk rotary smartphone combines grandma's old phone with your touchscreen

When I was a kid I had an old-fashioned rotary phone in my room because it was shaped like an airplane. It was cool. After I outgrew that airplane phone with the rotary propeller, I never had another phone that didn't use buttons. My grandmother rocked that old-fashioned looking rotary phone for years though in one of the extra rooms in her house. The good thing about those rotary phones was no one could sneak in a phone call, you could hear the snick, snick, snick, sound of the dial turning all over the house.

If you are into steampunk and miss the days of those rotary phones, but aren't willing to give up your touchscreen this awesome prototype device is the perfect middle ground. The cool device has a touchscreen on one side that looks like any screen from devices we are familiar with. Since this is a concept, it's not at all clear how the device would work. The only shot we have of the touchscreen on the back of the concept shows a contacts page. I suspect that the concept would just be a case for your smartphone if it ever became a real product.

It would be cool if you had to turn that rotary dial to call someone, but that would get old fast. If you don't want to be quite as retro as that rotary dual, there is also a version that showed the next step in phone development with push buttons. Whatever you think of the concept style and usability, you have to stand back and admire the design. The picture of the concept with the front and back against the how the background looks like it is a real gadget. The other photos could be renders though, it's hard to tell. This would be the perfect smartphone to tether to that Datamancer laptop.

[via Geekosystem]