What is an Alexaphone?

Answer: Alexa inside a retro telephone.

by / November 15, 2018

Grain Design specializes in refurbished 20th-century telephones, but with a unique twist. Instead of making a traditional phone call, these devices connect you to Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa when you pick up the headset.

The devices are appropriately called “Alexaphones,” and the L.A.-based company has sold just three of them to date. The devices are not easy or quick to make, as the company looks for non-functioning phones that are not in good shape, so as not to deprive the world of well-preserved antiques. Additionally, the devices maintain a high level of privacy by preventing Alexa from always listening for the wake word as she does in modern speakers — the microphones are physically disconnected until the handset is picked up.

“The Alexaphone is a fusion between the beautiful, architectural telephones of the past and the voice interfaces of the present,” Grain Design CEO Richard Whitney told Digital Trends. “We love the style and craftsmanship of old telephones and wanted to give them new life, while simultaneously modifying modern tech to be more user-protective.”