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Disabled Brit gets smartphone dock built into his prosthetic arm

April 10, 2012

While technology has immensely advanced over the past couple of years, most electronic manufacturers still focus on the luckiest of their clients, neglecting the desires and preferences of people with special needs.

Trevor Prideaux, a 50-year-old British technology enthusiast, was born with only one arm. But the catering manager from Wedmore, Somerset, didn’t let his disability prevent him from having a normal life, achieving his dreams, and enjoying his passions.

However, he found it increasingly difficult over the past few years to control and use a regular smartphone with only one hand. Wearing a prosthetic limb since he was three years old, Mr Prideaux used to have to balance his smartphone on his artificial arm or put it on a flat surface in order to complete even the most mundane tasks, so he tried to find a solution to his problem.

However, the Brit didn’t just go for the easiest solution to his issue. He dreamed of making a difference, not only in his life, but also for others who were facing the same kind of hardships.

Way to go, Nokia, what the heck were you thinking, Apple?

Although he didn’t think he would be able to convince a tech manufacturer to build a smartphone docking station into his prosthetic arm, Trevor Prideaux didn’t give up. Being an Apple enthusiast, he first looked for help at Apple, but the California-based company refused to help him due to still undisclosed reasons.

Nokia was the second name on Mr Prideaux’s list and, much to his surprise, the Finnish company’s officials listened to his plea. Prosthethist Steve Gallichan, technician Les Street, and undergraduate student Sarah Bennett formed the team responsible for the project, and, in just five weeks, a prototype was ready.

The three designed a laminated fiber cast of a Nokia C7 and built it into the Brit’s prosthetic limb, making it so much easier for the man to use his device. “My Nokia C7 sits within my forearm, between my stump socket and the single knob rotary that holds my limb attachments in place. Now when I get a call I can either hold my arm up to my ear or put it on speaker phone. I can also take it out if I need to. Texting is also much easier and a lot safer. “said Mr Prideaux.

Nokia’s effort will not only make life better for of the 50-year-old Brit, but might also make technology more accessible for other people facing the same issues. “I think this would help a lot of people with prosthetic arms and especially those who were not born with the disability” said Trevor Prideaux.

Now, some of you might be familiar with this story from October 2011, when it first hit the media. And most of you are probably wondering by now why we are giving you a story that is so raggedy and dusty.

Well, it’s pretty simple. This is one of the most inspirational stories that I for one have read in… forever, and I just wanted you to hear about it or to be reminded about it. That being said, Mr Trevor Prideaux, you are my hero, and the world needs to hear more people like you!