A Vienna-based designer named Klemens Schillinger has developed a new and elegant solution to help people deal with their ‘smartphone addiction’ – a Substitute Phone.
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.
The beads are arranged in patterns that trace the swiping finger movements people perform when interacting with their gadgets’ touchscreen, with several configurations currently being available.
"We check emails and messages not only on public transport but also in social situations, for example when having drinks with friends… More and more often one feels the urge to check their phone, even if you are not expecting a specific message or call. These observations inspired the idea of making a tool that would help stop this 'checking' behavior," the designer told Dezeen magazine.
According to Schillinger, he came up with the idea after learning about Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco trying to give up smoking by using a wooden stick as a substitute pipe.