Prosthetic arm with a built-in smartphone docking station.

Meet the Man With a Smartphone Embedded in His (Prosthetic) Arm

Meet the Man With a Smartphone Embedded in His (Prosthetic) Arm

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Oct. 27 2011 11:26 AM

Meet the Man With a Smartphone Embedded in His (Prosthetic) Arm

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Trevor Prideaux wanted an iPhone dock for his prosthetic limb but settled for a Nokia C7

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Does it ever feel like your smartphone is permanently connected to your hands?

A British man has become perhaps the first person in the world to make the figurative literal: Born without a left arm, he has had a dock for his smartphone built into his prosthetic limb. The Telegraph reports that Trevor Prideaux struggled to text with only one hand; he often tried to balance his phone on his prosthetic limb while typing. Now, with a docking station carved into his prosthetic, it’s easy for him to text and perform other tasks on his Nokia C7. (He wanted his prosthetic built for an iPhone, but alas, “the communications giant refused to co-operate” by giving him a casing for the prosthetics designers to use to mold the arm.)

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Prideaux says that his new arm took five weeks to construct and has made his life significantly easier: “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.” But upgrading his phone once the Nokia C7 has become obsolete might be a bit of a challenge.

It’s been said that someday, when prosthetics are superior to natural limbs, the able-bodied may consider amputating their arms or legs to take advantage of the speed or energy efficiency offered by mechanical versions. Maybe someday we’ll all have smartphone docking systems embedded within us? I hope not. Then there’d be no excuse for not taking a call.

Read more on the Telegraph.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, New America, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies.