Addicted to your smartphone? Here's something that might help

Whether you’re a compulsive swiper scroller or zoomer there’s a model just for you

Schillinger wanted to create "a tool that would help stop this "checking" behaviour", as reported by The Verge.

The Substitute Phone is the result of designer Klemens Schillinger's efforts as part of an exhibition called #Offline - Design for the (Good Old) Real World. Digital functions have been replaced with stone beads, creating a range of therapeutic tools that help frequent smartphone users curb their desire and control their withdrawal symptoms by providing them with a substitute via physical stimulation. You can easily run your fingers along them to simulate swipes or slides.

The item is not exactly a phone and has the same objective as fidget spinners and cubes-keeping the hands occupied, except that it is created to look and feel like a smartphone.

Speaking to Dezeen, product and furniture designer Klemens Schillinger says that phones are becoming an addictive object in people's lives.

The object, according to Schillinger's website, is to reduce users' routine to "nothing but the motions".


Most of the flagship devices have already been launched by smartphone makers. The beads allow for finger gestures like swiping, scrolling and even pinching in and out.

"Daniel Kruger, a research scientist at the University of MI, said: "[Our] study provides some real insight and maybe some evidence that people can have a real dependency on cell phone use".

Schillinger's project was inspired, he told Dezeen, by writer and philosopher Umberto Eco, who tried giving up smoking by exchanging his pipe for a wooden stick.

"It was the same thing", he said, "but without the nicotine, just the physical stimulation". As such, consumers won't be able to get their hands on the Substitute Phone anytime soon. He also designed an Offline Lamp that only turns on when the user places their smartphone inside a drawer that sits at the base of the lamp. 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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