Sourcing a Significant Personal Object

Inquiry Question:
What is the story of my phone?


The phone acts as a primary source of Apple’s iPhone 7 in shade ‘Rose Gold’. It is an exact, physical copy of the iPhone 7, representing the manufacturing, design, and functioning. The first iPhone 7 was first released on September 16, 2016. I received my copy of the phone on June 25, 2017 from a Bell Canada store in Lougheed Mall. Apple Inc. designed, developed, and marketed the phone. Their headquarters are mainly located in Cupertino, California, United States. The hands-on manufacturing occurred in different locations by two different companies, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and Pegatron. They both locate mainly in Taipei, Taiwan.

In 2016, many technological advancements were made. For example, electrovibration technology started to grow. Electrovibration adds texture when using a touchscreen to create a 3D effect. Small motors and electrodes are embeded into the screen to send a concentrated electrostatic current- this creates the illusion of texture in your finger. Electrovibration was founded in 1954 by E. Mallinckrodt. In December of 2011, Dave Rice created the first tablet prototype in electrovibration


In 2015, a group from Vermont University developed research surrounding electrovibration creating braille in phones for those who are blind. This idea put electrovibration in the spotlight. Apple included electrovibration in the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 has a home button, but it doesn’t physically sink in when pushed. Instead, it uses electrovibration to give the feeling that one’s finger is pushing a button. The iPhone 7 was the first major mobile device to incorporate electrovibration. All these electrovibration studies and other technology advances led up to the creation of the iPhone 7.

This iPhone 7 plays a major role in my day-to-day life. It acts as my planner, communicator, alarm clock, music player, and source of entertainment. Without this phone, my organization falls apart. The fact that in the past, the phone could only be used for calling blows my mind. Comparing this iPhone 7 to past models demonstrates the evolution of technology. I find the growth in phone models, even within Apple Inc. alone, intriguing. My phone can even scan my thumbprint and recognize my voice! I cannot begin to explain the iPhone’s manufacturing, the discoveries causing the evolution leading up to the iPhone 7, or any other technology details, but I do recognize the phone’s significance.

Inferences About Perspective:
The creator(s) of this phone belonged in many groups. The minds behind this phone were innovators and creators. The physical building of the phone came from technology scientists and manufacturers. The phone was needed in general public. My dad once told me a story of when he was in high school. He injured his leg practicing basketball, but there was no phone nearby. He ended up bussing to the hospital alone. This story acts as a clear representation of the importance phones play in communication. With this current demand for high-quality technology, creators constantly have to refine their ideas and think outside of the box. The iPhone 7 and all its improved qualities (camera, audio, functions, electrovibration, etc.) show the creators’ work.

Inferences About Inquiry Question:
From examining this source, I learnt about all the little details that go into creating a fully functioning device. Before examining my device, I took the ease of my iPhone 7 for granted. I didn’t acknowledge the evolution or improvement of phones. I realize that finding the story of my iPhone 7 is nearly impossible because it correlates with the stories of all phones ever created. Each phone led up to the creation of my phone, which means, the story would be thousands of pages long. This research extended my knowledge, but simultaneously, created a thousand more questions. I wonder how the screens glow, how my touch triggers an app to open, and how all this programming fits inside a 5.4 x 2.6 x 0.3 inch phone. Without a university degree or further, I will not understand this programming, but I can understand the innovation behind it.

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