Subtitute Phone helps anxious smartphone addicts

"These observations inspired the idea of making a tool that would help stop this "checking" behavior".

A Vienna-based designer named Klemens Schillinger has developed a new and elegant solution to help people deal with their "smartphone addiction" - a Substitute Phone. Assuming you're willing to carry some or all five on you, they can simulate scrolling, zooming and swiping.

The item is not exactly a phone and has the same goal as fidget spinners and cubes-keeping the hands occupied, except that it is created to look and feel like a smartphone.

Schillinger told architecture and design publication Dezeen that he was inspired by Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco who attempted to give up smoking by replacing it with a stick, as it provided for a physical stimulation but did not have nicotine.

"The object, which some of us describe as a prosthesis, is reduced to nothing but the motions", explains Schillinger's description of the... object.

"Scrolling on the stone beads is like a little massage for the fingers and a kind of soothing feeling", he said in his email.

He thinks the limitation helps phone addicts cope with their withdrawal symptoms. People who are constantly using their mobile device are accessing what's behind the screen-the messages, the photos, the apps-not the screen itself.

Smartphone addiction has reached an all-time high. It's called a "Substitute Phone", and it allows the user to mimic the finger gestures normally used on a smartphone.

Created this "trinket" on the principle of the so-called replacement therapy and is called the Substitute Phone. The first of these projects is Offline Lamp, which will only turn on when you put a smartphone-size object inside its drawer.

The Phone is not on sale but according to the report, it was featured as part of an exhibition in the Vienna Design Week earlier this year.

Smartphones have invaded practically every facet of modern life and most people can no longer function without them.