Growing up I remember hearing about one of the crazes from when my parents were younger. It was a super low maintenance pet that did not need to be fed, walked or groomed. In fact, it didn’t really come with any requirements as it was a rock – a pet rock.
Unlike the pet rock, and although it’s mostly a joke, the NoPhone actually helps solve some real issues – people’s inability to eat without photographing their food or enjoy a concert without taking crappy photos, and a complete disregard for other humans in the area.
As you’d expect, the NoPhone includes no camera and no screen to show those lovely photos you can’t take with it. Not wanting to lose the photography market altogether, the company offers a selfie edition including ‘the only feature available for the NoPhone’.
While the recent release of the iPhone 6s focused largely around the device’s upgraded camera capabilities, the standard NoPhone (which raised over $18k on Kickstarter) lacks both a front and back camera.
The more expensive Selfie Edition NoPhone doesn’t include any lenses either but, will allow you to take ‘real time selfies’ using an attached mirror. You can also ‘add a real friend for a real-time group selfie’ and included in the kit the company listed “more of your attention” and “real friends”.
For the seriously technologically-challenged who find the above plastic slabs to be too complicated, the company offers ‘the least advanced phone ever created by mankind’ – the NoPhone ZERO. Featuring absolutely nothing at all other than a plastic rectangle, this model was voted the #1 most useless invention of 2015 by Clapway Magazine and for a good reason.
Here’s a quick video explaining how the phone’s functions work:
We’ve seen how obsessed people are with their smartphones and how these devices alienate us from our surroundings, and the NoPhone is here to change that. While it might not be able to replace your current phone 100% of the time, NoPhone founder Van Gould told Cnet he switches over to the plastic slab once a week for date nights with his girlfriend.
Gould added the following description of the device on his personal website:
“With a thin, light and completely wireless design, the NoPhone acts as a surrogate to any smart mobile device, enabling you to always have a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment. Never again experience the unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh when closing your hand.
The NoPhone simulates the exact weight and dimensions of your most beloved gadget in order to alleviate any feelings of inadequacy generated by the absence of a real smartphone.”
Incredibly enough he also states that over 3,200 NoPhones have been shipped in addition to the 1,000 or so units ordered during the Kickstarter campaign.
Crazy, but this device that does nothing might actually work*. So next time you feel your need to photograph gets in the way of enjoying your meal or causes you to pull random duck faces, you might want to consider the NoPhone. At least until someone invents the NoCamera, that is.
(*I haven’t had any hands-on experience with the device, but I believe I’ve got a firm understanding of its features and capabilities.)
In the spirit of online challenges, I’d like to end this post with a challenge as well.
Part of what makes a great photographer is being able to overcome obstacles, and I’m sure Benjamin Von Wong encountered many of those when he created some mind-blowing fire-painting photos with a Huawei smartphone.
Now, Ben, let’s see what you can do with the NoPhone. You’ve been challenged!