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Photo by Leonhard Hilzensauer, © and courtesy of Klemens Schillinger
Photo by Leonhard Hilzensauer, © and courtesy of Klemens Schillinger

Austrian Designer Creates Hilarious Solution to Smartphone Addiction

Picture of India Irving
Social Content Producer
Updated: 28 November 2017

Vienna-based designer Klemens Schillinger has taken it upon himself to combat smartphone addiction with his creation of therapeutic objects aimed to cure even the most phone obsessed characters around.

The phone-shaped devices feature stone beads which allow users to mimic the physical hand movements of phone usage such as scrolling, swiping and zooming but all sans the screen.


Photo by Leonhard Hilzensauer, © and courtesy of Klemens Schillinger

Providing physical stimulation as an alternative to digital functionality, the creations give you the sensation of playing on your phone without the actual brain draining bit.

In his own words, ‘The touchscreen smartphone has made it possible to “escape” into social media. We check emails and messages not only on public transport but also in social situations, for example when having drinks with friends.’

Many people I’m sure will be able to relate to the above sentiment. The designer refers to the habit or urge to check one’s phone as ‘checking behaviour.’ Combating this behaviour is what inspired Klemens to design his beaded alternative.


Photo by Leonhard Hilzensauer, © and courtesy of Klemens Schillinger

The idea was born from the familiar method of giving up smoking – replacing the cigarette with something else  – something that philosopher Umberto Eco did by substituting his cigarette for a wooden stick.

The acetal plastic Klemens used for the phone is quite heavy, so even the weight of your typical smartphone is mimicked in the design.


Photo by Leonhard Hilzensauer, © and courtesy of Klemens Schillinger

This faux phone is actually the second time he has aimed to curb technology usage through his designs. His offline lamp is the other; it only lights up once its owner gives up his or her phone. Both projects were designed for  an exhibition entitled #Offline – Design for the (Good Old) Real World, which took place earlier this year at Vienna Design Week.