Facebook had once produced a prototype for a phone that was designed to only work for right-handed people.
In an interview with The Verge, Steven Levi, the author of Facebook: The Inside Story, discussed a broad range of topics revolving around Facebook’s history and some of the more interesting anecdotes that many may not be aware of. During this Q&A, Levi was prompted to discuss a prototyped phone that Facebook was producing.
According to Levi, the prototype was given the codename GFK after Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah. The device was designed by Yves Behar and had a cumbersome design to it. As Levi described it, the phone had “an unusual groove in the curved surface, where one could scroll using a thumb.”
Facebook had implemented a processor built by Intel into the GFK phone. It also incorporated a feature that Levi describes as “an innovative touch sensor that would both unlock the phone and scroll in a single movement.” The only problem is that the touch sensor was designed to only work for right-handed users.
Although knowing that this feature limited the number of users who would actually be able to take advantage of the phone’s touch sensor, Facebook decided to proceed with production. That is until the project was canned. An anonymous source from Facebook told Levi that at the time, “we decided we didn’t care about left-handed people.”
The interview included other notable tidbits of Facebook’s history such as the WhatsApp acquisition.