It’s hard to be a lover of both antiques and technology these days. This is due in part to the majority of consumers that expect tech companies to ship futuristic looking devices that get thinner and more minimalist in each iteration. While this isn’t likely to bother too many of us, there are still quite a few who truly enjoy retro styling accompanied by the latest and greatest tech.
If having Alexa in an antique phone is something that you’ve always dreamed of, Grain Design may have just what you have been looking for. The company is producing what it calls Alexaphones. These devices are composed of real antique telephones with an Echo Dot connected directly to the receiver.
What is an Alexaphone?
Each one of Grain Design’s Alexaphones is unique. This is because the devices are not newly manufactured. Instead, Grain Design hunts for beautifully-designed antique telephones and breathes new life into them.
This is done not only by polishing up the devices and fixing areas that are broken, but also installing modified Echo Dots inside each phone. By blending these two devices together, Alexaphone owners are able to relive an old experience while embracing modern technologies.
Alexaphones prioritize privacy
One of the standout features offered in Alexaphones is privacy. Grain Design calls out directly on its website that Alexa only listens when the handset has been lifted off of its cradle. Not only does it not listen, the microphone physically disconnects when it is not in use.
As you may know, many tech companies tout that their virtual assistants do not transmit conversations to the cloud until the assistant is activated using its keyword. This may sound great, but in many cases customers are left to blindly trust these claims. With physical disconnection of the microphone, customers can rest easy knowing that Alexaphones take privacy seriously.
How to order an Alexaphone
As you might expect, things get a little strange when you go about ordering an Alexaphone. This is largely due to the fact that each phone needs to be found and restored, and an Echo Dot needs to be modified accordingly to work with it.
To combat this, Grain Design has a $200 reservation that customers purchase. Upon purchasing, they are placed in a queue for the next available device. Since customers do not know what the next phone will look like, Grain Design asks each customer (in order) if they like the design and would like to purchase it.
While pricing is subject to change for each Alexaphone, all three of models that have shipped so far have sold for $1,500. This price is likely to deter many, but intrigue those who are willing to spend a decent chunk of money on an iconic piece of technology.
Head over to Grain Design’s website to learn more.