A designer hopes to get people off their phones with a new product

The smartphone addiction is too real. When is the last time any of us sat through a meal without someone at the table checking his or her phone? It is nice to stay connected but research clearly shows there are significant negative effects that go beyond interrupting discussions over dinner. Our mental health is at risk. Recognizing this problem, designer Klemens Schillinger created a “substitute” phone to help people get rid of this addiction.

These substitute phones are a therapeutic tool that help people stay away from their phones. It was designed so it mimics a real phone by letting people scroll, zoom and swipe but with stone beads instead of on a digital interface. The beads are made out of the stone Howlith and look like marbles. The actual body of this substitute phone comprises of black polyoxymethylene (POM) plastic, which is the relatively same weight as a smartphone. Stone beads allow smartphone users deal with withdrawal symptoms because they get to go through the same motions they would on a smartphone, but on this substitute phone instead. The focus is on creating a physical stimulation for the user.

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