Our smartphones are marketed to us as time-saving gadgets that make our lives easier, more convenient, and more connected than ever before. But have we ever stopped to question whether or not we actually need these devices? Or better yet, whether or not they actually make us any happier?
These important questions are what propelled Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang to create the Light Phone, a sleek, minimal handheld phone that was designed to place and receive phone calls only. While this anti-smartphone of sorts seems like a fairly simple invention, the motivation behind it is anything but. Hollier and Tang's company manifesto reads like a sort of call to arms, urging customers to question their relationship with technology and consider the cultural implications of excessive smartphone use.
"Our time and attention are the two most important things that we take for granted the hundred of times a day we reach for our screens," they write. "So many products are claiming to 'make our lives better.' They are engineered to keep us hooked. They are being built and funded because we will become addicted to them, not because we ever needed them."
By contrast, the Light Phone was "designed to be used as little as possible." The two hope to encourage people to leave their smartphones behind while still being able to fulfill the practical need of placing and receiving phone calls. "Our phones have become our nervous habit, our invisible crutch," they conclude. "Technology should help us appreciate life more. It should serve, not enslave, us."
Check out the Light Phone for yourself below, and share your thoughts on Hollier and Tang's invention in the comments.