The noPhone - substitute for "chronic smartphone use".
Thinking of upgrading your mobile phone? Touchscreen, 32Gb memory, Wi-Fi hotspot, unlimited calls? Or how about one that does none of those things? Say hello to the noPhone, a technology free alternative to hand-to-phone contact.
Most people will be familiar with that unconscious urge to check your phone at 10-second intervals like your own vital source of nourishment. I have just done it now. It is a horrible compulsion but one that has become completely socially acceptable.
Enter the noPhone which has been created to give you the feeling of holding a mobile phone without actually interacting with the technology. It is a bit of an odd idea but as the noPhones website humorously points out, it will help combat the “unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh when closing your hand.”
Created by designers Ben Langeveld and Ingmar Larsen with New York advertising agency Silver + Partners, the ‘device’ is set to “combat the rapid decline of real life social engagement that has stemmed from chronic smartphone use.” The Double Dutch creative team are known for their slightly off the wall ideas such as the One Hour Agency which was designed with the ambitious task of developing business ideas within 60 minutes.
Cleverly, the noPhone mimics the exact size and weight of the user’s favourite device to give the impression of holding a real life smartphone. Some entertaining testimonials on the site include a questionable instance of eye contact skills improving by 73% and also an account that claims the noPhone stops the consequences of holding your phone during night terrors which usually result in a smashed screen.
Although the noPhone has not yet gone into production, it is a fair point. The glorified plastic brick is most definitely shatterproof, waterproof and anti-social-proof.
Whilst only two noPhones have been created so far, the design might actually have its place in the modern world where engagement with mobile devices has engulfed real-life interaction. We will just have to wait and see … and I’ve just checked my phone again.