Science

Klemens Schillinger's Substitute Phone aims to help overcome smartphone addiction

Klemens Schillinger's Substitute Phone aims to help overcome smartphone addiction”

In today's day and age, asking a person to stay away from their smartphone for a few minutes can be a hard task. It's an addiction that may not be one of the more harmful kinds, but is still an addiction nevertheless.

The Substitute Phones don't appear to be for sale (his website says that his shop is "coming soon"), but they were featured as part of an exhibition for the Vienna Design Week called #Offline - Design for the (Good Old) Real World, which took place earlier this fall. The beads act as "substitutes" for touchscreen and users can roll their fingers on them to mimic daily smartphone actions like scrolling, zooming or swiping. "The object, which some of us describe as a prosthesis, is reduced to nothing but the motions", he explains. Substitute Phone does not let you make phone calls, send SMSes, click pictures or even let you check the latest Facebook posts or tweets.

Instead, Schillinger opted to integrate a stress relief mechanism that, in his view, could help tech addicts cope with their compulsive behavior.

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, but without the nicotine, just the physical stimulation", he said. Klemens Schillinger's Substitute Phone provides the physical stimuli that tech addicts need without any of the actual features of a phone.

The Substitute Phone is the second in a series Schillinger is working on relating to our relationships with our devices. Both the products aim to discourage users from using their smartphones, Dezeen reports.



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