Can This Substitute Phone Curb Your Device Addiction

first_img Hello. My name is Stephanie, and I am a smartphone addict.My handset is more than just a means to communicate: It is a boredom buster, an escape route, a friendly face.I reach for it while watching TV, working at my desk, waiting for tea to brew; there are always games to play, social media feeds to skim, and news articles to weep over.My habits, however, can’t be curbed by a “Substitute Phone.”From Vienna-based designer Klemens Schillinger, the phone clone replicates movements we make “hundreds of times on a daily basis”—but without lights, colors, pixels, or sensors.You might as well fondle some dominos (via Leonhard Hilzensauer)By replacing digital functions with stone beads, the Substitute Phone provides physical stimulation when the real thing is unavailable. (Which seems like the drastic measures of an intervention, not the average adult’s reaction to too much screen time.)Sets of marbled pellets are built into a sleek rectangle in various patterns: two horizontal rows in the center (scroll across), one long vertical line (scroll up and down); one horizontal row at the bottom (unlock/answer call); one long slanted line (zoom); one short slanted line (scroll side-to-edge).The object, according to Schillinger’s website, is to reduce users’ routine to “nothing but the motions.”“This calming limitation offers help for smartphone addicts to cope with withdrawal symptoms,” the site said, offering the toy as a “therapeutic approach.”Even if you practice great restraint (congratulations!), you’re bound to know someone who is always looking at their handset—often for no particular reason other than out of habit.Substitute Phone as a therapeutic approach (via Leonhard Hilzensauer)“More and more often one feels the urge to check their phone, even if you are not expecting a specific message or call,” Schillinger told Dezeen. “These observations inspired the idea of making a tool that would help stop this ‘checking’ behavior.”But I’m not convinced the Substitute Phone will solve the problem. That’s what fidget spinners are for. People who are constantly using their mobile device are accessing what’s behind the screen—the messages, the photos, the apps—not the screen itself.Schillinger’s project was inspired, he told Dezeen, by writer and philosopher Umberto Eco, who tried giving up smoking by exchanging his pipe for a wooden stick.“It was the same thing, but without the nicotine, just the physical stimulation,” he said. “I remembered this and thought to make phones that would provide the physical stimulation but not the connectivity.”The simulated smartphone is not yet available to the public; Schillinger’s online shop is “coming soon.” Stay on target Sir Jony Ive Leaves Apple to Start His Own Design FirmEnter BBC’s ‘Doctor Who’ Fan Art Competition last_img