Mobile technology these days is developing at ever faster speeds that usually (but not always) leave the visually impaired behind, so it’s good to see this new “Loop” concept handset aimed at making it intuitive to use your mobile phone without having to see it with your eyes. Birthed out of a competition held by LG and Autodesk, the Loop is the brainchild of designer Andres Parada. Rather than use keypads and large, colorful displays, the Loop makes use of a dial wheel and a heat-conducting Braille display. The idea is certainly geeky and high-tech, and it gives us something to look forward to in the future.
The Loop is made to be worn around the neck or clipped to a shirt pocket. The handset has simple controls – on/off button, dial wheel, and a clip. There’s also a removable Bluetooth headset built into the phone. The headset has the Braille thermal display and the microphone and earpiece. From the looks of it, the user can identify incoming callers by sliding their finger across the Braille display and translating the various dots of heat into a word or name. Dialing is made simple with a scroll wheel that’s supposed to be more intuitive than any keypad could ever be to someone with vision problems.
Still, as much as we’d love to see the Loop become a reality for mobile phone subscribers with impaired vision, it’s not likely that we’ll see a thermally-conductive OLED display used to display the Braille alphabet anytime soon. Of course, we could just see this LG Loop becoming a reality in a couple years’ time. What do you think?