NeoBytes :) is an occasional feature that takes a step back from the big headlines, to take a look at what else is happening in the vast, scary expanse of the tech world - often with a cynical eye, always with a dose of humour.
In today's world, it seems that almost everyone already has a smartphone, twiddling the screen while texting, playing games, and whatnot. Furthermore, many of us seem to not be able to take away our eyes from our phones, using them every possible minute. With this reality in mind, an art director has come up with a new idea for a phone...without the phone.
Enter the NoPhone, a brainchild by art director Van Gould; It's actually a plastic rectangle slab that does nothing at all, as the name implies. No screen, no games, no camera, nothing. In short, It's a brick. It is also a product of a Kickstarter campaign, with 915 backers pledging $18,316 to bring the project to life.
"NoPhone simulates the exact weight and dimensions of your most beloved gadget in order to alleviate any feelings of inadequacy generated by the absence of a real smartphone," according to Van Gould on his personal website. "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."
The NoPhone comes in three variants. For one, there's the $5 NoPhone ZERO, a plain rectangular slab, dubbed as the "the least advanced phone ever created by mankind." Another is the $10 NoPhone, which is designed with fake buttons and ports, along with a fake camera. Lastly, the $15 NoPhone Selfie, comes with a small adhesive-backed mirror, inviting users to "enjoy taking a real-time selfie and remembering the time you did."
By buying any of the three slabs, it will not only guarantee buyers the product they ordered with an instruction manual (on how not to use it), but it also promises more of your attention, and real friends.
Gould has reportedly sold over 4,000 of the units, and has even received a bulk order for its fake phones, according to a report from CNET.
While the NoPhone is obviously a joke product that definitely does nothing, the idea helps remind people to take a break from constantly using their phones, and take time to interact with people in the real world.
Interested people can pre-order from NoPhone's online store, which includes bundles for the family, for couples, and even for employees.