The Light Phone
It’s not going to work.
There's a growing population of tech elites that are opting out of technology. Me included. I've been off Facebook since 2012, and I've chosen not to own a car.
But I traded that for a better technology, Uber, not one with more limited choices.
Everyone opts out of technology, we just don't think about it that way. We have this luxury in the Western World.
Our identities are being formed more by what we choose to opt out of than what we choose to opt into.
We don't identify as "Netflix viewers" but we do identify as "vinyl heads."
Vegans are a sub-group because they all choose to opt out of the same thing.
People that bike to work opt out of the car.
People who think their deodorant might cause them cancer skip it. etc. etc.
So the Light Phone believes that people will use this as an indicator that they've opted out. It's a supplement in between uses. I do like the name, I'll give it that. Sorta reminds of a "diet" version. And we can all understand a brief tech "diet."
But I don't believe it's enough of a push to identify around. The NoPhone https://www.thenophone.com got some traction. It's easier to fully move one way or the other.
There's no "statement" behind a short-term opt out.
And this type of product can happen easy when you build it in a bubble.
"The co-founders met at Google’s 30 Weeks incubator, a new program that helps designers create and launch companies. Though they were surrounded by digital technology, the pair didn’t want to make yet another app for disconnecting or focusing."
-Adele Peters, Fast Co.
The light phone is a hardwire device that is simply a phone.
No apps. Just a few numbers saved and it can only accept incoming or create outgoing calls.
We’ve had these before, in case you don’t remember. And your current phone does everything it can do. So the hardware is an option for the consumer to intentionally limit themselves and their consumption and time.
"[Ideas] They are being built & funded because we will become addicted to them, not because we ever needed them. You see, we are human, and we are vulnerable. Being more "connected" couldn't possibly make us any happier.”
And this is the part they couldn't have gotten more wrong.
Being more connected is ALL that we want more of. That's it.
Once your needs are met we yearn for this more than anything else. I'm not saying that our current levels of technology solve our insatiable need for connection. But that's because it's insatiable. Going back to the past will not connect us more. More technology will. Video, live streaming, digital meet ups, VR. All are aimed at bringing a deeper emotional connection with "the other."
Phones are tools of self-expression and communication. And all of the tech layered on top has been created to further this ability by giving us more tools at our disposal.
If it had a bit more functionality I would possibly pick up one, it’s the Apple Watch that we never got. Kudos to them for making a beautiful design.
But don’t expect to be seeing many of these out in the world.