Published: Tue, November 28, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Klemens Schillinger's Substitute Phone aims to help overcome smartphone addiction

Klemens Schillinger's Substitute Phone aims to help overcome smartphone addiction

Klemens Schillinger has created the "Substitute Phone", a sort of stress ball crossed with an abacus that will relieve the tension of those no-phone situations. When it's a "Substitute Phone", of course!

We can't argue with the fact that our smartphones are addictive devices.

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Designer Schillinger tells Dezeen, "the Substitute Phones allow these movements to be felt by scrolling on the marbles that are integrated into the case, something which is a clear differentiation from fidget spinners or fidget cubes". The Substitute Phone lineup has five designs, all of which were made specifically to replicate numerous actions that people perform on their smartphone, The Verge reports. 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.

Schillinger's creation is a smooth palm-sized object made of plastic shaped like a smartphone, with a set of howlite beads embedded into its surface. These "phones" should work as a coping mechanism for users who want to reduce the "checking behaviour".

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Speaking to Dezeen, Schillinger added that he was inspired not only by the disturbing frequency with which he and others tend to consult their smart devices (and for no particular reason, usually), but also the writer Umberto Eco, who when attempting to stop smoking his pipe, substituted a simple stick. Depending on whether you are a compulsive zoomer, scroller or swiper, you should know that there is a model designed just for you.

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

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So far, the product has been shown exclusive, as an exhibit at the design week in Vienna. The project was created for an exhibition called #Offline - Design for the (Good Old) Real World, which took place at the Vienna Design Week earlier this year.

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