The Light Phone can only be used for making calls, and has been designed to be the antidote to the feature-heavy smartphones of today.
It’s well known that we’ve become overly reliant on our smartphones. They have become so multi-functional they can let us do anything from watch TV, track a marathon, warn us of impending tinnitus and even perform molecular analysing. And while many would be horrified by the idea of a phone that strips away everything but the ability to make and receive phone calls, a new phone has been launched which can only make calls. The Light Phone can’t even text – users can forget playing The Walking Dead games.
The handset – which isn’t much bigger than a credit card and costs USD 150 – was designed by Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang, who also founded the company. On their website, they wrote: “Our phones have become our nervous habit, our invisible crutch. We find ourselves reaching for them without thinking. We love their illusion of productivity & stimulation that is socially acceptable to abuse. Multitasking is a myth, it is addictive and exhausting.”
While being designed in America, the handsets are being produced at Foxconn in Yantai, China. With a basic LCD display and numerical keypad, the company is hoping users will adopt it as a second phone, so they can have breaks from the internet, while still being reachable using calls. A good example might be going out on a dinner date – there are few things ruder than pulling a phone out to check the football results while waiting for dessert to arrive.
As our lives becomes cluttered with smart devices, are we going to see more solutions with minimalist design aiming to optimise the time we spend on the web?