Google’s Experiments division has launched an app designed to make it possible to leave our phones at home, one day at a time … and still have what you need from your phone close at hand.
“A lot of people feel that they spend too much time on their phones and struggle to find a balance with technology. Paper Phone helps you have a little break away from your digital world by printing a personal booklet of the key information you’ll need that day,” writes Greg Selfe in Two Sides.
“According to its creator, London-based Special Projects, Paper Phone is an experimental app which helps you have a little break away from your digital world, by printing a personal booklet of the information you’ll need that day. Printed versions of the functions you use the most such as contacts, calendars and maps let you get things done in a calmer way and help you concentrate on the things that matter the most.”
“We were particularly interested in the idea of a digital detox, which usually involves spending some time away from your smartphone,” notes the Special Projects website. “Many of the people we spoke to about this were literally terrified at the idea of leaving their phone behind. ‘What would I do without my maps’, ‘I don’t even know my boyfriend’s phone number’. We also found out about a condition called Nomophobia, which is the fear of being without your mobile phone.”
Feeling queasy about the environmental impact of printing out paper to replace your phone for the day? Don’t worry. According to Special Projects, “printing a sheet of A4 every single day you’ll be surprised to know printing one page per day would produce approximately 10g of CO2 in a year. In contrast, using a mobile device for one hour a day produces 1.25 Tonnes of CO2 at the end of the year, taking into account network and server infrastructure energy requirements.”
This is fascinating. You can try Paper Phone for yourself on your Android phone with this app. Then unchain yourself from the distracting little beast in your pocket and get on with your day.