Published: Tue, November 28, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Cory Rios

Can This 'Substitute Phone' Curb Your Device Addiction?

This inspired him to design "a tool that would help stop this "checking" behaviour".

"Australian designer Klemens Schillinger created the 'Substitute Phone" with black polyoxymethylene plastic and stone beads that are embedded in the surface. You can easily run your fingers along them to simulate swipes or slides. That's what fidget spinners are for.

In an interview with Dezeen, the designer of the Substitute Phone, Klemens Schillinger noted how smartphones have become sources of addiction for a lot of users.

But for those who do suffer from some sort of smartphone addiction, a designer in Vienna has come up with a quirky solution to help.

The Substitute Phone feels and weighs just like the smartphone-along with five swiping/scrolling/zooming options based on the users' most common finger movements.

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These 'Substitute Phones' are supposed to be therapeutic, allowing smartphone addicts to go through the same calming motions they perform on their electronic handsets "to cope with withdrawal symptoms".

The Substitute Phone, then, isn't meant to be a "fun" replacement for operating a smartphone, just a coping mechanism in its absence.

"It was the same thing, but without the nicotine, just the physical stimulation", he told the magazine.

The Substitute Phone looks like any other 5.5-inch smartphone, but rather is nothing but a plastic block that comes with rollable beads. "I remembered this and thought to make phones that would provide the physical stimulation but not the connectivity". The first is the Offline Lamp, which only turns on when you put a smartphone-size object inside its drawer. It doesn't appear to be on sale at the moment, but it was part of an exhibition during the Vienna Design Week called #Offline - Design for the (Good Old) Real World. 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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