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Ed Yeates reportingA Utah invention makes it possible for people to automatically dial a phone number by simply thumbing through their photo album.
The new device works well for older or disabled people. But the biggest feature may be its ability to help kids use a telephone, without having to remember telephone numbers.
Though small kids may not fully navigate numbers or words - they do recoqnize a photo of a fire truck. So how about a device that simply lets them thumb through photos, like a family album, and just push the fire truck's button in the event of a fire?
Lehi resident Son Le built such a device, mainly to help his aging mother. Unfortunately, his mother died before she could use it.
For kids, the elderly, the disabled - Fotodialer - as he calls it - is simplicity at its best.
Son Le: "All you do is insert the picture into the pocket and you can do 24 pictures in six pages."
Grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, sister, brother - their photos or even buildings.
Son Le: "Usually they cannot read the word, but they can recognize the place where their mom and dad works."
Emergency symbols can be used for 911 or just pictures of fire trucks, police cars or ambulances.
Programming? Pick up the phone, push the memory, dial the number, and it's assigned to the picture through a series of infrared sensors assigned to each photo page.
Son Le and other workers gathered in this basement shop after Thanksgiving and put together 200 phones. But now it's moved to the big marketplace.