A project log for High-low tech: WATCH, GPS & PAGER

Want to ditch your smartphone but not its useful features ? 3 simple devices to use technology in a meaningful way //

Antoine PintoutAntoine Pintout 04/25/2019 at 09:160 Comments

Welcome to this first log entry !

I started to work on this project a couple of months ago. It’s a self-initiated project that I'm developing in the framework of my degree in product design.
I was born with computers. I’ve always found it easy to work with different types of technology. That’s why I decided to develop a project in this field.

When it comes to everyday use, I'm not convinced that the way we interact with technology is the best. I noticed that my daily consumption of tech can be limited to only two devices: my phone and my computer. They can satisfy all the tasks I need in my daily life : staying in touch with friends, work with partners, takings notes, quickly finding informations about anything, making calculations, navigating in a city, capturing memories, reminding us upcoming events, etc. They suit our needs when we have to be efficient but when we just want to relax and disconnect, they can become really intrusive.

illustration from the thelightphone project

Social medias can be source of joy or excitement, but they can also trigger depression and anxiety. Youtube and Netflix are great to entertain us during our free time but don't you feel bad after a day of binge watching? I'm not the first one to experience these feelings. On top of that, platforms that we use everyday are designed to make us stay the longest time possible on their services, so that they perfectly know our behavior and our tastes. Platforms are today capable of proposing sophisticated tailored-made ads, pushing us buying our beloved stuff. To keep us online, they exploit some brain mechanics inherited from our pre-historic past. They play with our "Fear Of Missing Out" using notifications and likes to release dopamine or encouraging endless content creation. Sometimes they lead us to addiction. Theses usages of technology are like double edged swords: they can be useful but at the same time extremely harmful.

I have got a kind of hate-love relationship with my devices. I'm not calling for a total boycott, but information overload can definitely become a problem. And here I am, a guy with some knowledge of electronics. Maybe I can help.
I chose three features out of my phone daily use. Time keeping, navigation and communication. I then think of them as independent devices, keeping the same technology found in any phone. I take the threee features out of phone’s opaque plastic aesthetics. Some of them exist already as stand-alone devices: calculators, watches, walkmans, maps or GPS, etc. I need to bring something different in the mix.

In the next logs I will describe in greater length my technology and design choices.

Until next time,
be good,