Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Emotiphone!


Instructables user [zvizvi] was working on putting together a portfolio for his application into Industrial Design school, and thought it would be neat to repurpose an old rotary phone that used to belong to his grandmother.

He originally had pretty lofty goals for the phone, but eventually pared back his vision to include one-way communications to Twitter. After gutting the phone of its unnecessary parts, he got busy installing LEDs behind the dialer’s finger holes. The LEDs were connected to an MCP23017 I/O expander, which takes its direction from an Arduino he crammed into the phone’s shell.

When the receiver is lifted from the cradle, the Arduino initiates a connection to the Internet via the WiFly shield he installed. Once he dials a number, the Arduino translates the digit into a predefined emoticon, posting it to his Twitter page. While the emoticons are not quite as descriptive as the messages from the Tweeting Roomba we featured earlier this week, they relay his mood just fine.

It’s a fun project, and it happened to get [zvizvi] into the design school he was applying at, so we can’t ask for much more than that.


  1. Justin says:

    “…and it happened to get [zvizvi] into the design school he was applying at…”

    Congratz zvizvi; you deserve it for sure. This is sleek design idea to integrate with old technology.

  2. Techie says:

    It reminded me of this one. I still love it. http://www.sqnewton.com

  3. Whatnot says:

    I wonder if there’s a panic icon that he can use when you’d normally call the cops :)

  4. pff says:

    as a lover of rotary phones and a hater of twitter and gaudy leds this project really gets my goat.

  5. z says:

    someone needs to work on their magic lasso skills.

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