This High-Tech Device Only Makes and Receives Calls (It's a Phone)

Light Phone Kickstarter
Light Phone Kickstarter / Light Phone Kickstarter

Remember when phones were only used as phones? Smartphones have become so ubiquitous in our lives that it's hard to remember a time before we had the breadth of the Internet in our pockets. But Light Phone, a new futuristic-yet-retro device, wants to buck the trend.

Light Phone cofounders Kaiwai Tang and Joe Hollier met at Google's 30 Weeks incubator, and quickly decided they wanted to create something to help people disconnect.

"We were wondering how we could build a product that actually does the opposite of those apps, and allows people to live in the moment," Hollier told Fast Company. "That's how we started thinking, people could leave their phone at home, but what's the minimum amount of connectedness?"

The credit card-sized device doesn't have a screen at all, just a number pad and the ability to receive forwarded calls from your iPhone, which you leave at home in order to give yourself a break to enjoy the world around you IRL.

"We're not saying people shouldn't use smartphones at all," says Tang. "We're just saying that for certain moments—like taking your kid to the park, having dinner with your wife—those moments we don't really need notifications from Twitter or Facebook or anything else."

You could leave all means of communication at home, but the Light Phone allows people to take a break without the anxiety that comes from wondering if someone's trying to reach them urgently, or what they'll do in an emergency. Plus, if the chance to stop and smell the roses isn't enticing enough, "you have all of your emails and notifications to come back to, it's like a treat," Hollier says. "You have way more versus if you're checking every three minutes."

You can learn more about Light Phone on their kickstarter page.