Smartphones are thought of as almost an extension of human beings. This can be an extremely useful tool, but also means that they cause distractions, taking you away from social interactions, or perhaps the work that you should be doing. To combat smartphones’ distracting qualities, Guilio Barresi has created a set of three additional gadgets to help.
The first in Barresi’s Connected Humans collection is the x01 Focus Tool. It uses an Adafruit Feather nRF52 BLE board to interact with the Apple Notification Center Services running on an iOS device, and takes the form of a beautifully made stainless steel cylinder with a 3D-printed cap on top. Depending on the cap setting, different notifications can be automatically disposed of, and feedback is provided by a vibrating motor and a single LED to indicate focus mode and battery status.
A second x02 Awareness Tool tracks phone usage with a pair of weights hooked up to stepper motors via cords. The day’s goal is set by pulling one weight down — which is coupled to an encoder — and the pair of weights gives a visual indication of how much you’ve actually checked your device versus your goal. An ESP32 module monitors phone interactions, and specific info is shown via a four-character display on the front.
Finally, the x03 Social Tool provides a holder and charger for two phones, meant to be used during meals. An ESP32 onboard tracks just how much the phone is out of the dock, and at the end of a meal, each participant gets a physical receipt via an onboard thermal printer to show phone use stats.
Be sure to check out these nifty little units in the video below; who knows, maybe this collection could serve as a reminder to live in the present — at least occasionally!