The Substitute Phone could help people deal with their smartphone addiction

Klemens Schillinger’s Substitute Phone is designed to overcome smartphone addiction

The Substitute Phone was inspired by the tactile part of the smoking addiction, he said.

The idea is to have a gadget that tickles the urges to fiddle with a phone without the need to actually check for texts, Instagram updates, or Tinder matches, with Schilliner noting he wanted to create "a tool that would help stop this "checking" behaviour".

In an interview with Dezeen, the designer of the Substitute Phone, Klemens Schillinger noted how smartphones have become sources of addiction for a lot of users. The disturbing frequency with which we tend to use our smartphones and Umberto Eco have inspired Schillinger to develop this object.

The item is not exactly a phone and has the same goal as fidget spinners and cubes-keeping the hands occupied, except that it is created to look and feel like a smartphone. The plastic device is shaped like a typical smartphone, but features stone beads on the front that let you mimic the action of scrolling, swiping, or zooming. Users can simulate scrolling, pinching, and swiping on what essentially amounts to rectangular pieces of black polyoxymethylene plastic.

These 'Substitute Phones' are supposed to be therapeutic, allowing smartphone addicts to go through the same calming motions they perform on their electronic handsets "to cope with withdrawal symptoms".

Well, we don't exactly know if we can refer the Substitute Phones as devices, so we would just call it a product. Schillinger says he aims to make the Substitute Phone a coping mechanism for a person who wants to be cured of random impulses to check their real-life smartphone.

Smartphone addiction has reached an all-time high.

"It was the same thing, but without the nicotine, just the physical stimulation", he told the magazine. Schillinger has designed five such "phones", and the project was showcased at Vienna Design Week's #Offline - Design for the (Good Old) Real World exhibit earlier this year.

Previously, Klemens Schillinger created a lamp that only lights up once the user is willing to surrender their smartphone.

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