SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — By May, toy inventor Randice-Lisa Altschul anticipates having production samples of her disposable, paper-based Phone-Card-Phone for testing and regulatory approval. She also is working on a paper laptop computer for next year.
"We have totally broken the paradigms" of what constitutes a cellular phone, she said in a telephone interview. For illustration purposes, her Web site shows the phone with a Mylar polyester substrate, but she plans to manufacture the product on coated paper.
Altschul, founder and president of Dieceland Technology Corp. of Cliffside Park, N.J., plans to get an initial model into the market during the last half of 2001. The retail price of $10 targets teenagers.
The devices may incorporate some plastic circuitry and battery components but nothing near the use of polymers in the housings and parts of today's cell phones.
Users keep the earpiece and microphone.
"We took telecom and turned it into a toy," she said. The patents were issued in 1999.
A paper battery is possible, said Edward McCarthy, president of PowerBurst Batteries Inc. of Canton, Mass. PBI is assisting Dieceland in sourcing batteries with special proprietary features for certain models.