The problem with putting a mobile phone in vibrate mode is that the user will often miss an important call, especially when the phone is kept on a desk at work and there is no way to feel or hear the vibration. The Indi robotic phone dock from a U.K. inventor is attempting to resolve that issue.
The dock has a set of robotic arms that signal when a phone call is coming in. The device consists of a docking unit containing an Arduino micro-controller and an app that users will be prompted to download the first time they plug it into a phone. Initially, the device will only support Android phones, but iPhone support is on its way. Backers who pledge £35 (~$53) will get one when it ships in May as part of an early bird discount deal on its Kickstarter campaign. Indi’s maker is hoping to raise £2,500 (~$3,800).
Indi is a clever spin on the traditional phone dock. It could be especially useful to hard-of-hearing smartphone users. But one inherent drawback is that it is only useful when the user is stationary. Even then, however, if the user is busy, it is possible that person won’t see the small robotic dock’s arms moving when a phone call comes in.