Jan 29, 2016 | By Tess

Very few of us can claim that we are not addicted to our smartphones, as we sit on the bus, or even walk down the street, our noses buried in app games or social media feeds. I, for one, am guilty of this, and only really become aware of it when I’ve completely lost track of time simply scrolling through Instagram or Twitter for the millionth time of the day. For those, like me, who sometimes want a break from all the apps and “smart” features of our phones, to get back into real life, designer Jeff Lam has created a 3D printed smartphone case that effectively turns your smartphone dumb.

Lam, the Interactive Art Director at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, designed the 3D printed Dumb Phone Case to help phone addicts tear themselves away from their screens by physically hindering access to app touch-buttons and certain phone features.

The Dumb Phone Case is a 3D printed shell that fits over your smartphone - for the moment Lam has only designed the case for the iPhone 6, though more editions are on the way. The case fits over the iPhone screen and essentially only lets you touch the number keypad on its surface, turning your multi-purpose device into a simple calling device, otherwise known as a phone.

“As any owner of a smartphone knows, it’s easy to get addicted to the massive potential of the phone,” explains Lam. “I realized that I was getting caught up with checking my phone constantly. Whether it was for new emails, likes on Instagram, checking who’s posting new snaps or looking for updates on Facebook, I knew I needed a way to remind myself to not look at my phone without leaving it at home. When looking for solutions, I came up empty, so I decided to make one.”

Lucky for all us smartphone addicts, we can all make our phones “dumb” by 3D printing our own Dumb Phone Cases. Lam has made the .STL files available through his website, so anyone can experiment with, or even perhaps commit to playing on their smartphones less.

If the challenge proves too tough, however, on a particularly dull bus ride, or waiting for a friend somewhere, the case can be easily popped off, just like any phone case, letting you check your recent Snap Chats, or scroll through your various social media feeds. Of course, the 3D printed phone case can’t help but beg the question, “Smart phone -> Dumb human. Dumb phone -> Smart human?”

As mentioned, the available .STL files are currently only made to fit the iPhone 6, though Dumb Phone Cases are reportedly being produced for the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5 (there is also potential for an Android case to be produced if the project gains enough interest).



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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