A Trend Towards the Anti-Smartphone?

Runcible-940x439Runcible’s website greets users with a phrase that is surprising in our social media, notification saturated, always-plugged-in-world: “Welcome to the post-smartphone era.”

The site features pictures of a round, wooden-backed device developed by Monohm Inc. It looks more like an old-school compass than the metal and glass rectangular smart phones that are now the market norm. But that is part of Runcible’s goal. The creators endeavored to create a device that is quieter, more relaxing, and more like a “technological heirloom.”

Their website explains that “Runcible is modeled on devices humans have carried around with them and loved for hundreds or thousands of years: the pocket watch, the compact, the compass, the magical stone in your hand.”

The phone does afford access to the web, a mapping/directions system, and can make phone calls. It will be sold completely unlocked, and according to a press release, at a comparable price to other premium unlocked smartphone (we’re thinking iPhones pricing here).

Runcible appears to represent user’s desire to find technology that complements their lives instead of ruling it.

In fact, Aubrey Anderson, CEO and co-founder of Monohm Inc. commented that “smartphone[s]…app-centric approach distracts us from our lives instead of helping us live them.”

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The interest bubbling around “anti-smartphones” was also covered in recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Many users — even in the digital media sectors — are opting to trade smartphones for old school flip phones that can make calls and send texts but are not endowed with touchscreens, front cameras, pages of apps, or web capability.

Jon Duhig is head of digital at a design and innovation consultancy in Sydney, and swapped his iPhone 5 for a Nokia 208.

Why? “There’s something nice about the simplicity,” he says, “Now I feel clearer, I have more concentration. I am not so easily distracted anymore.”

Smartphones affords us incredible connectivity, help us navigate, stay amused, and in touch with friends, family and work. But how much connectivity is too much?

Will you be in line for the latest iPhone or Android release, or are you feeling anti-smartphone and considering the Runcible or reverting to your Motorola Razr?

Let us know in the comments!

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