Smartphone addiction is very real. It has gotten so bad that it has prompted Swedish flat-pack furniture maker IKEA to make an anti-smartphone table. This modern day “epidemic” has also give birth hilarious solutions like NoPhone and the Substitute Phone, as well as a tiny phone that supposed help you kick the addiction. But I think none of them will work better than the Block.
Created by Amsterdam-based product designer Ernst Koning, in collaboration with a trio of Dutch entrepreneurs and creatives (Fabian Sapthu, Sidney Vollmer and Daan van Dam), Block is basically a modern interpretation of the original Faraday cage invented in 1836. So, yeah, it is a Faraday Cage, but a modern and stylish one that blocks out signals, both incoming and outgoing, while also keeping your device out of sight, so you could not be distracted by this modern day, evil invention.
Here are the official words on the Block:
“Two-thirds of the world’s population has a smartphone. And moments without rrrrrrrings, pings, pushes and Likes are rare. Almost a luxury you could say. BLOCK helps you find a healthy balance between being connected and when not. Simply because smartphones have no connection in this modern and stylish version of the Faraday Cage (1836).
It functions as a beacon of space, rest, attention and silence in these hyper-connected times. But it’s also a statement about breaking the habit of having a smartphone always on you, or in sight. In BLOCK our smartphones now have a fixed place where they can no longer interrupt. And this might even help us notice how much we used it. And how hooked we are.”
Despite it being called “Block,” Block isn’t a block; it is hexagon in shape and looks like a regular container, but it is made of a signal-stopping material, aluminum. That’s about it. All it takes is for the aluminum skin to stop radio, Bluetooth and WiFi signals from getting to and out of your device nested inside the Block. So, why not switch off the phone altogether? Well, according to the product, hiding the phone removes it from the user’s line of light and hence, completely eliminate the distraction.
Then why not just switch it off and drop it into a drawer or bag? I don’t know. Because, Block looks cooler than a drawer or bag, I guess. Besides, can your drawer or bag packs seven smartphones? Oh wait, actually they probably can. Never mind. Block is cool. It is an art. But it also cost, like quite a bit, going for 99 euros (around US$112) a pop. And yes, it is for sale.
Anywho, the idea of Faraday Cage for signal emitting/receiving gadgets aren’t new. Law enforcement departments around the world have using Faraday Cage-inspired bags to store confiscated electronic evidence to prevent criminals from remotely accessing the device and possibly, wiping the data.