The Runcible provides users with all of the outgoing features of a regular smartphone, while preventing incoming beeps, flashes and alerts that could disturb them.
The smartphone is a double-edged sword — while making it much easier for people to contact the rest of the world anywhere, anytime, it is also easier for the rest of the world to contact them. Theoretically, users can give themselves a rest by using offline modes or simply resisting the pull of the device, but many rarely do. Offering a somewhat overpriced solution is the Runcible by Monohm, a USD 399 silent smartphone that is eternally in do-not-disturb mode.
The Runcible is something like an inverted pager — providing users with all of the outgoing features of a regular smartphone while preventing incoming beeps, flashes and alerts that could disturb them. Monohm calls the Runcible the first anti-smartphone and everything about the device is in opposition to the current idea of the smartphone, including its design. It is round, silent, old fashioned and reminiscent of a pocket-watch, and its aim is to leave the user in peace except when they need to reach out to the world.
Its apps also keep with this aim. For example, the mapping app provides a scenic route, rather than the fastest one — much like this walkability app. Other positives that rebel against the Apple way of doing things are that modularity of individual parts, which can be easily replaced, and the open-source software that hosts it. Users are still essentially paying a high premium to be less connected, but considering we just saw a pair of glasses that prevent the viewer from looking at screens, perhaps that isn’t such an undesirable prospect.
The Runcible is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo and pledgers can pre-order the device from USD 399, for expected delivery in September 2016. What other characteristics could be removed from devices to make them more appealing?