posted on October 12, 2006 |
In November of 1999 Randice-Lisa "Randi" Altschul was issued a series of patents for the world's first disposable cell phone. Trademarked the Phone-Card-Phone®, the device is the thickness of three credit cards and made from recycled paper products. This is a real cell phone (outgoing messages only) with 60 minutes of calling time and a hands free attachment. You can add more minutes or throw the device away after your calling time is used up. However, with the planned additional magnetic strip the cell phone would double as a credit card, swipeable for purchases with free airtime credits as a bonus. The retail price of the invention should average twenty dollars, with a two or three dollar rebate for returning the phone instead of trashing it.
Altschul thought up the invention after being tempted to toss her cell phone out of her car in frustration over a bad connection. She realized cell phones were too expensive to lose or throw away. After clearing the idea with her patent lawyer and making sure no one else had already invented a disposable cell phone, Randi Altschul together with engineer Lee Volte, patented both the disposable cell phone and the super thin technology (STTTM) needed for the Phone-Card-Phone and other intended products.