Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger seems to have found the answer to the smartphone addiction with "Substitute Phone". Schillinger is also the designer behind a lamp that doesn't work unless you feed it your smartphone, so he's clearly serious about making our lives more analog.
The item is not exactly a phone and has the same objective as fidget spinners and cubes-keeping the hands occupied, except that it is created to look and feel like a smartphone.
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".
Schillinger is expected to sell the Substitute Phones via his online store in the future for a yet to be disclosed price.
"The object, which some of us describe as a prosthesis, is reduced to nothing but the motions", explains Schillinger's description of the... object. "The stone beads which are incorporated in the body let you scroll, zoom and swipe".
By replacing digital functions with stone beads, the Substitute Phone provides physical stimulation when the real thing is unavailable. "This calming limitation offers help for smartphone addicts to cope with withdrawal symptoms". Klemens claims that it will act as a coping mechanism and will help users to check their phones less.
Smartphone addicts who can't stand being away from their beloved devices but want to stop feeding their impulses now have a way to curb their habit.
Inspiration for this idea came from a documentary in which Umberto Eco, an Italian writer and philosopher, attempted to kick his smoking habit by substituting his pipe with a wooden stick. 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.
Schillinger, says that people often hold the gadget in the hands not of practical purposes, but only in order to satisfy the need to turn something in his hands.