Resisting the urge to swipe and scroll the day away is a battle many of us face and inevitably lose. Fortunately, Vienna-based designer Klemens Schillinger has done his part in trying to help us loosen the grips on our smart phones with the invention of five "substitute phones." We know – who knew there was such a thing?
Allow us to explain how this faux portable device works: Instead of a touch screen (gasps), each phone is only equipped with a single row of stone beads positioned in different directions in order to give the user the sensation of swiping, zooming or scrolling.
If it sounds like a more sophisticated version of a fidget toy, that's because that's precisely the point: Schillinger created these substitute phones for Vienna Design Week as a part of #Offline – Design for the (Good Old) Real World with the hopes of presenting a coping mechanism that mirrors phone usage for those experiencing withdrawals.
The beads are made from Howlith, a natural stone. The case is made of acetal and has a weight that's comparable to an actual smartphone. Schillinger tells Dezeen he got the substitute phone idea from an Italian philosopher Umberto Eco's attempt to give up smoking by replacing his pipe with a wooden stick.
"It was the same thing, but without the nicotine, just the physical stimulation," Schillinger said. "I remembered this and thought to make phones that would provide the physical stimulation but not the connectivity."
People tend to joke about being unable to leave home without their phones, but smartphone addiction can be a serious problem that has been shown to have a negative impact on our brains. Schillinger's substitute phones bring awareness to a growing issue that also seeks to provide a solution.