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The Substitute Phone is designed to help smartphone addicts cope in their absence

We’ve all been there: fiddling with your smartphone because it’s there, or reaching for it when you hear a text message notification. Austrian designer Klemens Schillinger created the Substitute Phone as a way to help smartphone addicts cope in its absence.

Schillinger tells Dezeen that more and more, phones are becoming an addicting object in our lives. Users constantly play with them, even if they’re not looking for a message or expecting a call, and he was inspired to design “a tool that would help stop this ‘checking’ behaviour.”

Schillinger designed five facsimile phones, made of black polyoxymethylene plastic with stone beads embedded in the surface, which allows a user to replicate familiar actions, such as scrolling, pinching, or swiping. The goal is that it could be used as a coping mechanism for someone trying to check their phone less.

The Substitute Phones don’t appear to be for sale (his website says that his shop is “coming soon”), but they were featured as part of an exhibition for the Vienna Design Week called #Offline – Design for the (Good Old) Real World, which took place earlier this fall.


Image: Leonhard Hilzensauer


Image: Leonhard Hilzensauer


Image: Leonhard Hilzensauer


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