Planning to go off-grid for some peace and quiet this summer holiday? It may happen even if you don’t plan it as mobile phone reception can be patchy in any place off the beaten track. If you’re addicted to checking your phone like most of us, help is at hand.
Sorry, it’s not a magical connection to the internet, it’s a series of substitute phones to help you kick your smartphone addiction. Designed by Klemens Schillinger the ‘phones’ have stone beads which mimic the different actions you use on your phone, like scrolling, zooming and swiping.
He hopes that these will help smartphone junkies cope with withdrawal by keeping their hands busy to stimulate them.
When researching his project, Schillinger was inspired by a documentary featuring the Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco – who was trying to give up smoking by substituting his pipe with 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.”
As this kind of plastic is relatively heavy, the substitute phone also replicates the weight of an ordinary smartphone – making the imitation more convincing. The movements differ from things like fidget spinners in actually delivering the same actions as using a smartphone.
Schillinger is keen to ween us off our handheld electronic addiction. He has also invented an Offline Lamp which only lights once you have put your smartphone in the drawer. He wants us to concentrate on more worthwhile activities like reading or working or talking to each other!
Nice ideas. Don’t think his stocks will be rivalling Apple or Samsung anytime soon though. The substitute phone is not currently on the market.