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Smartphone Addiction Be Gone

Smartphone addiction is one of the great plagues of modern society. Users are spending an average of 2.4 hours a day staring at their mobile devices.

To combat this modern addiction a ‘therapeutic’ phone-like handset has been created in order to help you cut down your smartphone use. Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger created the gadget that he claims can help smartphone users overcome their addiction.

The Substitute Phone is a slab of plastic that, instead of a screen, has a number of marbles incorporated into it. By touching them, you can mimic the act of scrolling, zooming or swiping, but without actually being immersed in the digital world.

Phone Fidget Spinner 

The idea is to help addicts wean themselves off their gadgets, by allowing them to go through the motions of using a smartphone without actually using one.

“The object, which some of us describe as a prosthesis, is reduced to nothing but the motions,” explains Schillinger on his website.

“This calming limitation offers help for smartphone addicts to cope with withdrawal symptoms. The object as a therapeutic approach.”

A small range of Substitute Phones with different marble arrangements are listed on his website.

Horizontal formations, for instance, are designed to simulate swiping, vertical formations are designed to simulate scrolling and diagonal formations are designed to simulate pinching.

“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,” Schillinger told Dezeen.

“Some of these finger movements – like zooming in, or moving up and down – were born with the smartphone.

“The Substitute Phones allow these movements to be felt by scrolling on the marbles that are integrated into the case, something which is a clear differentiation from fidget spinners or fidget cubes.”

Not Yet For Sale 

The Substitute Phone doesn’t appear to be for sale; Schillinger’s website states that his shop is “coming soon”.

However, it was featured as part of an exhibition at the Vienna Design Week called #Offline – Design for the (Good Old) Real World, which took place earlier this year.


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