Smartphones are the most addicted devices right now. We use it all the time for everything. Even when we don’t need it, we still end up scrolling the phone, mostly because of habit. In all fairness to mobiles, it’s hard not to get addicted. Admit it!
However, the madness of Smartphones has to be controlled or at least substituted. To satisfy our swiping and scrolling needs Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger has created the “substitute phone” as a way to make mobiles - addicts cope.
He has designed five facsimile phones, which are heavy, high – quality plastic (polyoxymethylene) with embedded stone beads, which lets the user replicate various Smartphone gestures. One can scroll, swipe and pinch using these. Thereby letting the Smartphone addict cope and try to use their mobiles less.
These substitute phones haven’t appeared on the market for sale yet. 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.
Talking to Dezeen, the designer Schillinger says “The object, which some of us describe as a prosthesis, is reduced to nothing but the motions, This calming limitation offers help for Smartphone addicts to cope with withdrawal symptoms; The object as a therapeutic approach.”
He further adds that he was motivated not only by the disturbing frequency with which he and others tend to consult their smart devices 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.”