Substitute Phone. Ease your addiction

by Lucia Danes - -

A Substitute Phone was designed to decrease a rapidly growing addiction to smart devices. This plastic phone looks just like a regular smartphone, however, it only lets you imitate the action of using a smartphone, such as scrolling, swiping or zooming. The device includes stone beads that allows you to trick your brain that you use a real phone.

substitute phone

Probably most of us caught ourselves in the situation when you grab your smartphone and mindlessly began to scroll. The device known as Substitute Phone was created in order to help people reduce their addiction to smartphones.

The device was created by Austrian-based designer Klemens Schillinger[1]. It provides you an illusion you are using a smartphone without any technical functions.

The shape of the Substitute Phone replicates an average smartphone, however, its functions are reduced to the movements we make hundreds of times on a daily basis. The stone beads which are incorporated in the body let you scroll, zoom and swipe. there are no digital functions. Thee object, which some of us describe as a prosthesis, is reduced to nothing but the motions. This calming limitation offers help for smartphone addicts to cope with withdrawal symptoms. The object as a therapeutic approach.

The Substitute Phone has five variations and each of the versions allows a user to imitate a different action. The designer also noted that the inspiration for the Substitute Phone came from a documentary on Umberto Eco, writer and philosopher, who swapped a pipe for a wooden stick in order to quit smoking.[2]

It was the same thing, but without the nicotine, just the physical stimulation. I remembered this and thought to make phones that would provide the physical stimulation but not the connectivity.

It is worth mentioning that K. Schillinger is not the first one to come up with the Substitute Phone idea. A similar invention was announced on the reality show Shark Tank in 2016. The substitute device known as the NoPhone[3] is a self-professed “technology-free alternative to constant hand-to-phone contact”. The NoPhone device also makes a hilarious gag gift and helps those who cannot live with their smartphones to quit this habit.

NoPhone is available for $12 and it is basically just a piece of plastic shaped and sized as a smartphone. It has no technical features, though, but for extra six dollars, you can get The NoPhone Selfie, that includes a mirror on the front.


About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Malware and spyware analyst

Lucia Danes is a news editor at She is extremely passionate when it comes to helping people deal with various online threats, so she wants her articles to be understood even by those with no IT background.

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