1960 (age 58–59)
|Known for||invention of first disposable cell phone|
Randice-Lisa "Randi" Altschul (born 1960) is an American toy inventor based in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. She is an inventor of the first disposable cellphone. She began inventing in 1985 and by age 26 became a millionaire. She has granted more than 200 licenses of ideas for games and toys.
Early career/toy inventor
Altschul's first successes were with toys and games. Her first idea was a 'Miami Vice Game' which built on the success of the American television series of the same name. Other notable toys and games included a Barbie's 30th Birthday Game, and a wearable stuffed toy that could give hugs under the control of the child who was wearing it. She also developed a monster-shaped breakfast cereal which turned soft when covered in milk. Altshul also made money from selling her ideas for board games whose marketing relied on a link with other popular American television series like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons. Altschul became rich and part of the profits were invested in super-thin technology.
Althschul got the idea for the phone when she lost the signal for her conventional mobile phone and resisted the urge to dispose of an expensive phone. She realized that a disposable phone might assist travelers like herself. Altschul created a new company called Diceland Technologies to exploit these technologies to make the phone she planned.
First disposable cell phone
In November 1999 Altschul teamed up with Lee Volte. Volte had been the Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Tyco. Altschul and Volte obtained several patents for what would be the world's first disposable mobile phone. Their intellectual property also included the trademark "Phone-Card-Phone". The new device was a phone that was of a size similar to an existing phone card. The credit card sized device was less than five millimetres thick, and was not made from plastic or metal, but from materials based on recycled paper. The phone incorporated a magnetic strip which meant that credit card companies could store identification which would allow the phone owner to make purchases. The phone was intended to sell at about twenty dollars, and the purchaser would be able to make phone calls totaling up to an hour. The phone was sold as disposable, but it could also be recycled; people who returned their used phones would receive a credit of two to three dollars. Frost & Sullivan, declared the Phone-Card-Phone to be the 2002 Product of the Year.
Altschul and her company, Diceland Technologies, envisioned prospective customers of the Phone-Card-Phone as people who were not impressed by the latest technology or women who just wanted to ensure that their sons and daughters would be able to make phone calls to them and their families. Altschul aimed the marketing at those people who would not be interested in a long-term mobile phone contract or tourists who may not usually need a phone but would need one whilst holidaying abroad for the short period of their vacation.
- Bellis, Mary. "Disposable Cell Phone - Phone-Card-Phone". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- Randice Altschul Archived 2014-02-18 at the Wayback Machine, csupomona.edu, retrieved 14 March 2014
- "Diceland Technologies". Archived from the original on September 4, 2012.
- "Phone-Card-Phone". MIT. 2004. Archived from the original on February 25, 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "Randi Altschul". 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2014.