You are sitting at dinner with friends and, in between bites, you look down at your email. You are in a meeting at the office and, as your boss drones on, you check your Instagram feed. You are at a party and you break your dance jam every 10 minutes to see if you’ve had any action on your online dating profile. Your grandpa is talking to you about his childhood and you glance down at your Twitter feed.
The beauty of smartphones is that they are mini computers we can take with us anywhere. They are tiny and portable and powerful and it’s easy to let them slide into our lives at any moment, in all moments.
But that’s the problem. Often, they take us out of the moment.
That’s why visual artist Joe Hollier and a phone designer Kaiwei Tang are creating The Light Phone. It’s a credit-card sized gadget that runs in partnership with your smartphone, but only allows a user to take and make phone calls. It lasts for 20 days on a single battery charge.
Related: Reality Check: You Need to Care About More Than Your Business
The idea is for you to leave your smartphone at home and venture into the great wide world with your eyes open and looking around you, seeing what there is to see, without being able to obsessively check your smartphone. At the same time, you won’t have to miss a call from mom. Or your husband or wife or kid. The Light Phone app will allow you to forward calls from only the numbers you want to get forwarded. Your helicopter boss? Nope, not getting forwarded.
Hollier and Tang met at the Google’s 30 Weeks incubator in New York City and are currently raising money for their first production run of The Light Phone on Kickstarter. So far, they have raised $113,000 and, with 39 days left in the campaign, are looking to raise $200,000.
A campaign backer who contributes $100 or more will receive a non-phone phone. The projected ship date for the phones is a year from now — May of 2016.
Related: While You Obsess About Your Business, Don’t Forget About Your Body