More than 90 percent of people keep their phones within three feet of them, twenty-four hours a day (source: Morgan Stanley Internet Trends report). Always present and on hand, smartphones often interrupt our experiences. The mental and physical presence is difficult to draw away from. Smartphone users need to take a break from their devices every now and then.
Timeout is a handmade wooden box that enables you to take a break from your phone, simply by placing it inside. With one simple action, you are free from the digital world’s interruptions. Spend quality time interacting with people around you. Work on a task that requires concentration or spend the time for pure relaxation.
How does it work?
The box has a structure that divides the space into two. The
space on the bottom is where the central system of the box
lives, and the space on top is where a smartphone can be
Once a smartphone is placed in the box, it is recognized by
the box through Bluetooth connection. At the same time it
activates software that prohibits the smartphone from ringing or
While the smartphone is placed in this box, it is out of our
sight. This enables our brain to not think about it. However if
the phone were to ring and remind us about its existence, our
attention would return right back to it. Because there isn’t any
view or sound of the smartphone, we can entirely take it off our
Timeout also has a feature to send an auto-reply message
to the caller. When the phone receives a call or text, it will
not make a sound. Instead it will let the box know about the
incoming communication, and the Timeout will send an auto-reply message to the caller explaining that we are having a break from our
smartphones. It will also inform them that we will contact them
later when available. Since many of us were concerned about
the obligation to reply immediately, this will take some pressure
of our shoulders.
The last feature is the emergency number feature. We can
create a special group and include selected contacts.
When these contacts receive an auto-reply message, they will
also receive an emergency number. These numbers can be
used when there is an urgent need to reach out to us. When
the emergency number is dialed, the box itself will send out an
auditory and visual signal.