In the recent documentary Connected, filmmaker Tiffany Shlain talks about going to visit an old friend she hasn't seen in years. They're at a bar talking, laughing, and having a great time—and Shlain has flown all the way across the country for this moment—but she still can't fight the urge to check her email. Finally, she sneaks into a bathroom stall to look at her phone. How many of us with smartphones feel similarly addicted to our devices?
People are coming up with more and more hacks to get away from our own technology, whether that's hiding your phone in a drawer on Friday night or taking every urge to check your email as a cue to meditate. Now designers are starting to think about the problem more, too. This music player from Taiwanese Pega Design, called "Happy Together," invites party guests to plug their phone in. The more phones, the richer the music—each phone cues another layer of a song. In theory, people have an incentive to get their phones publicly out of reach, and concentrate on their friends.
I wonder what other designs will be inspired by the need to cure technology addiction. Will there be apps to help keep us away from our phones?
Image courtesy of Pega Design