Monday, February 9, 2015

Lanyards and Mobile Phones

I'm fortunate to have enough dexterity to seldom need assistance using my mobile phone. As mentioned before, I have chosen cases that have features giving me a greater ability to securely hold the device. A phone from October of 2004, that I still have and is sitting right next to me on the desk as I write this, was one of the earlier phones with a built-in modem, very minimal Internet access and texting capabilities. I had it set up on a free phone plan provided by SaskTel to any member of the Canadian Paraplegic Association. I had to purchase the phone out right, which certainly brings to light how expensive cell phones are when you don't get them at a discount rate because of a contract. Since it has served me 11 years I think I got my money's worth.

That said, this was a flip phone before any type of Internet connectivity or advanced communication was available in a mobile device for your average consumer. It is a really nice compact, streamlined unit that fits in just about any pocket. Unfortunately, because of the smooth, round lines and perfectly fitting halves, it was pretty difficult for me to reliably hold on to or flip open when receiving a call. Unless I had somewhat long fingernails I had a difficult time prying open the phone to use it. At the time of its primary use, it was simply for emergency purposes so I seldom needed to get at it in a hurry.

Adding a lanyard to the built in bar, as seen in the photo below, made it easier to keep it nearby for immediate access, as well as one additional place to hold on to the phone while prying it open for use. For my purposes I found the lanyard to remove the streamlined nature of the phone and make it more difficult to put in or remove from a pocket when it was not around my neck. Because of this the lanyard did not stay attached to the quick connector for very long. It was nice to be able to leave a quick connector attached for the times I did want the lanyard on it.

Not everyone has the benefit of the dexterity that I enjoy while others have more dexterity. New phones tend not to have a place intended for a lanyard as the flip phone pictured above does. Not so long ago I saw a brilliant improvisation on Brenda's phone (she happens to work at the CPA) and on Delynne's phone (who also works at the CPA and brought the idea for last week's post regarding the adapted makeup brush). Their adaptation was simply to feed the lanyard around their case, looped from the headphone opening to the camera's opening. Ingenious and universal for just about any smart phone out there.

If you choose the right lanyard, with a very tough but thin cord as the one used on both of these phones (it's the same lanyard, switched from one phone to the next for demonstration purposes), it won't affect the fit of the phone in the case. One of the two that I saw even fit well with the legendary Otterbox case for an iPhone. By legendary I mean that they fit incredibly precisely, better than some of the knockoff cases I have seen and used.

I love simple, inexpensive solutions to make it easier to enjoy technology everyone else is enjoying, without a complicated custom-made adaptation. This lanyard came with a terrible a.m. radio in the shape of a Saskatchewan Roughriders helmet, attached as a prize to a bottle of Wiser's Deluxe. Wouldn't want to lose my radio while listening to a Rider game and drinking my whiskey.

Source: Discount stores and eBay are the best places to find a lanyard that best meets your needs.

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