Are you a smartphone addict?(Aren’t we all?) There’s now a mobile app that, well, turns you off your phone addiction. Talk of iron cutting iron.
Professor Uichin Lee of the Department of Knowledge Service Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) & his research team recently introduced this application, Lock n’ LoL (Lock Your Smartphone & Laugh Out Loud), to help people lock their smartphones altogether & stop them from using the devices while engaged in real world social activities.
The app is similar to an experiment by a fake phone company that had, some time ago, released its line of products, NoPhones, a thin, rectangular-shaped plastic block that looked just like a smartphone but did not function. The company has managed to sell close to 4,000 fake phones to consumers who wanted to curb their phone usage.
Researchers note that the overuse of smartphones often results from users’ habitual checking of messages, emails, or other Online Content such as status updates in social networking service (SNS). External stimuli, for example, notification alarms, add to smartphone distractions & interruptions in group interactions.
The Lock n’ LoL app, said a statement, allows users to create a new room or join an existing room. The users then invite meeting participants or friends to the room & share ID with them to enact the Group Limit (lock) mode. When phones are in the lock mode, all alarms & notifications are automatically muted, & users must ask permission to unlock their phones. However, in an emergency, users can access their phones for accumulative 5 minutes in a temporary “unlimit” mode.
In addition, the free app’s ‘Co-location Reminder’ detects & lists nearby users to encourage app users to limit their phone use. The Lock n’ LoL also displays important statistics to monitor users’ behavior such as the current week’s total limit time, the weekly average usage time, top friends ranked by time spent together, & top activities in which the users participated.
According to Professor Lee, “We conducted the Lock n’ LoL campaign throughout the campus for one month this year with 1,000 students participating. As a result, we discovered that students accumulated more than 10,000 free hours from using the app on their smartphones. The students said that they were able to focus more on their group activities. In an age of the Internet of Things, we expect that the adverse effects of mobile distractions and addictions will emerge as a social concern, and our Lock n’ LoL is a key effort to address this issue.”
He added, “This app will certainly help family members to interact more with each other during the holiday season.”
Click here to download Lock n’ LoL on your iOS device.
Image Credit: Lock n’ LoL