Substitute Phone helps Free yourself from Smartphone Addiction
While a smartphone, tablet, or computer can be a hugely productive tool, compulsive use of these devices can interfere with your daily life, work, and relationships.Designer Klemens Schillinger has created a set of therapeutic phone-like objects called ‘Substitute Phone‘, to help smartphone “addicts” cope with being away from their devices.
The Vienna-based designer created a series of five Substitute Phones, which use stone beads to imitate the different motions used for smart devices, such as scrolling, zooming, and swiping.
By replacing digital functions with the stone beads, Schillinger aims to create a set of therapeutic tools that can help frequent smartphone users cope with withdrawal symptoms, by providing physical stimulation as a substitute for phone usage.
“The touchscreen smartphone has made it possible to ‘escape’ into social media,” he told Dezeen. “We check emails and messages not only on public transport but also in social situations, for example when having drinks with friends.”
“More and more often one feels the urge to check their phone, even if you are not expecting a specific message or call. These observations inspired the idea of making a tool that would help stop this ‘checking’ behaviour.”
Speaking to Dezeen, Schillinger added that he was inspired not only by the disturbing frequency with which he and others tend to consult their smart devices (and for no particular reason, usually), but also the writer Umberto Eco, who when attempting to stop smoking his pipe, substituted a simple stick.
“It was the same thing,” he said, “but without the nicotine, just the physical stimulation. I remembered this and thought to make phones that would provide the physical stimulation but not the connectivity.
The Substitute Phone is the second in a series Schillinger is working on relating to our relationships with our devices. The first is the Offline Lamp, which only turns on when you put a smartphone-size object inside its drawer. Both were created for Vienna’s Design Week earlier this year.