A couple of years ago I wrote about an interesting pop-up cafe that was built in Vancouver. The cafe was novel because it was constructed inside a Faraday Cage that blocked out any electrical transmissions.
So, no mobile phones, laptops or tablet devices functioned inside the facility, with the owners hoping it would remind us of the joys of conversing with our colleagues free from any digital distractions.
Suffice to say, the idea hasn’t really caught on, and it’s hard to step foot in a cafe these days without tripping over people glued to their phone or laptop. It’s sadly not at all uncommon for diners to be glued to their phones rather than each other.
Researchers at University College London have attempted to take the digital detox movement a step further by building a shoe that makes detoxing that little bit easier.
The researchers have teamed up with ANATOMIC & CO to develop a shoe that provides them with a number of means by which they can customize their digital experience. So, if you want to block those annoying notifications from coming to your phone when you’re on a date, these shoes can help you do that.
The team have developed a pair of brogues (pictured above) that come complete with an electric blue rubber sole that has built in technology that can connect to an app-based system via Bluetooth.
“The shoe is a physical manifestation of our mission – to make the world a more sociable place to live, by making the world’s most sociable shoes. After the beta test we are planning to roll this out further so more people can be in good company,” the team say.
It may come across as something of a gimmick, but the team are confident that this is a viable product that will have both a market and an impact on society. They plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign this year to get the product to market.
What do you think? Do we need products like this to help us digitally detox? Let me know in the comments below.