If you’re secretly worried about your smartphone addiction, then the new NoPhone might be just the thing you need. It’s the perfect smartphone placebo – it looks and feels exactly like a smartphone, but it does nothing. It’s just a piece of plastic that you can carry around in your hand to fool yourself.
NoPhone is currently a prototype that will cost a measly $12 once it hits the market. Its makers are trying to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter in order to cover production and marketing costs. They describe the device as a ‘technology-free alternative to constant hand-to-phone contact that allows you to stay connected with the real world’.
Dutch designer Ingmar Larsen, who helped create the NoPhone, said that he conceived the idea as a joke along with his friends Van Gould and Ben Langveld. To their great surprise, the idea received a lot of attention online and people from all over the world started placing requests for NoPhones of their own. So that’s when the three friends decided to turn to Kickstarter to fund mass production.
The NoPhone is 5.5 inches high, 2.6 inches wide and 0.29 inches thick, bringing it quite close to the latest smartphones on the market. The Kickstarter campaign pitch is quite cheeky and amusing to read – under features, they’ve mentioned things like ‘battery free’, ‘no upgrades necessary’, ‘shatterproof’ and ‘waterproof’. Their FAQs address the most important question: “Is this a joke?” To which their answer is, “No.”
“Phone addiction is real,” they insist. “And it’s everywhere. It’s ruining your dates. It’s distracting you at concerts. It’s disrupting you in movie theaters. It’s clogging up sidewalks. Now, there is a real solution.”
“With a thin, light and completely wireless design, the NoPhone acts as a surrogate to any smart mobile device, enabling you to always have a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment. Never again experience the unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh when closing your hand.”
And there are testimonials, too: “With the NoPhone, my eye contact skills have improved 73%,” Whitney R insisted.
“Because of the NoPhone, I haven’t drunk texted my ex-boyfriend in one whole week,” wrote Craig G.
David H said: “I used to sleep with my phone in my hand, but my night terrors would cause me to hurl it across the room in an unconscious panic. With the NoPhone, I can still enjoy the comfort of holding a phone in my sleep, without waking up to a shattered screen. Thanks, NoPhone.”
If you’re interested in NoPhone, but concerned about not being able to take selfies anymore, don’t fret. The makers do have an upgrade at no extra charge – the mirror sticker. That way, they say, you can enjoy ‘real-time’ selfies with your friends when they’re standing right behind you. Oh, and don’t forget to ‘add a verbal hashtag by syncing your brain and vocal cords’!