'Substitute Phone' To Help Smartphone Addicts Cope With Their Fiddly Habits

Todd Singleton
November 28, 2017

The plastic device is shaped like a typical smartphone, but features stone beads on the front that let you mimic the action of scrolling, swiping, or zooming. To put it in more simpler terms, the Substitute Phone, as they are called has a similar objective as fidget cubes and spinners.

However, on the flipside, this is also giving rise to a much serious problem of smartphone addiction.

There's a human tendency to get addicted to things frequently depended on, so it's no surprise that the smartphone, which is also an internet communications device, a video game console, a camera, a digital Swiss Army multi-tool, has become addictive for a great number of modern folks.

The objects are meant to help with the "withdrawal symptoms" people experience when setting down their smartphones.

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Schillinger said he made different versions of his pseudophones, trying to give them the same heft as a normal smartphone.

"More and more often one feels the urge to check their phone, even if you are not expecting a specific message or call", Schillinger told Dezeen. This inspired him to design "a tool that would help stop this "checking" behaviour".

Most of us have now developed a rather nasty habit of checking out smartphones for notifications and other stuff. Schillinger figured the same concept could be applied to smartphones, that replacing the physical stimulation without the connectivity might help people to rely less on their handsets.

These stone beads roll in place, offering a similar frictionless feel. He continued: "Some of the movements (like the zoom-in finger movement) were born with the smartphone.so I thought it makes sense to replicate them in an analog way". Both were created for Vienna's Design Week earlier this year. The first of these projects is Offline Lamp, which will only turn on when you put a smartphone-size object inside its drawer. The devices caught the attention of the public for their stylish yet functional approach, although many, of course, doubt there is even a market for smartphone addicts in need of a luxurious device like this.

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