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Digitox Package / 2022
Donghwan Song

Digital Detox App and Phone Case

In this project, extensive research was conducted on the topic of generational greed, encompassing an examination of previous generations as well as a more in-depth analysis of the potential addictive tendencies that Generation Alpha, born between 2011 and 2025, may experience. Given their exposure to advanced technology from an early age and their coexistence with a multitude of convenient lifestyles facilitated by smart devices, it is important to consider the addictive elements embedded within various digital contents such as social media, metaverse, games, and online shopping. Consequently, Generation Alpha is expected to spend an increasing amount of time engaged with screens, which has been previously linked to detrimental effects on their psychological well-being and behavior.

To address this concern, a solution was developed with the aim of raising Generation Alpha's awareness of their screen time usage while utilizing smartphones. Drawing inspiration from the insights shared by Tristan Harris, a former product philosopher at Google, it was suggested that transforming smartphone displays into black-and-white mode could be an effective strategy to counter addiction by diminishing the presence of vibrant and visually stimulating elements. Additionally, a common practice observed when individuals interact in person involves placing their phones face down to minimize distractions and maintain focus.

Building upon these concepts, an application was created wherein the saturation and sharpness of the screen gradually decrease in correlation with the amount of time spent by Generation Alpha on their devices. In order to restore the screen to its colored state, users must physically turn their phones upside down for a predetermined duration specified within the app. The technical implementation of this functionality leverages the existing gyro sensor found in most smartphones, which accurately measures the device's orientation. Furthermore, to encourage the desired behavior of flipping the phone over, a specially designed phone case, known as the Digitox case, has been developed. This case deliberately induces discomfort through features such as shaking and rotation when the screen is placed face up, thereby motivating users to adopt the recommended upside-down position. Additionally, the case includes a conveniently placed grip on the side to facilitate easy retrieval and lifting of the device. To enhance the user experience further, three distinct engraving patterns have been applied to the case, providing tactile feedback when the phone is flipped. Overall, this project endeavors to mitigate the potential negative consequences of excessive screen time for Generation Alpha by raising awareness and encouraging healthier smartphone usage habits. By employing a combination of software and hardware elements, the hope is to instill a sense of balance and mindfulness within this tech-savvy generation.

Working Video
The whole process - research, ideas, app design, Figma prototypes - was done by Donghwan Song

Font 'Oxymore' by Minjong Kim
Photographed by Fumi Omori

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