It’s being pitched as the “New and Unimproved NoPhone,” and called “a technology-free alternative to constant hand-to-phone contact that allows you to stay connected with the real world.”
What it does may shock you.
Actually, it is tempting to say that the NoPhone does … nothing. The developers say plainly that the features are:
No upgrades necessary
Their Kickstarter campaign page includes a Frequently Asked Questions section, which clears up such details as:
Does it have a camera? No.
Is it Bluetooth compatible? No.
Does it make calls? No.
Is it toilet bowl resistant? Yes.
Right now, the prototype for the NoPhone is a 3D printed hunk that measures “Height: 5.5 inches (140 mm), Width: 2.6 inches (67 mm), Depth: 0.29 inches (7.3 mm)” and weighs “between 2.82 and 3.5 ounces.”
It has a non-functioning earpiece slot, a non-functioning mouthpiece slot, a non-functioning camera lens hole, and is embossed with the brand “NoPhone” on the back.
— NoPhone (@NoPhone2) September 5, 2014
So, what’s the point?
The NoPhone is pitched by its developers as a “real solution” to “phone addiction”.
“Phone addiction is real. And it’s everywhere. It’s ruining your dates. It’s distracting you at concerts. It’s disrupting you in movie theaters. It’s clogging up sidewalks.
“With a thin, light and completely wireless design, the NoPhone acts as a surrogate to any smart mobile device, enabling you to always have a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment. Never again experience the unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh when closing your hand.”
Essentially, it is a hunk of plastic that will be manufactured to be smooth, shaped like a smart phone, and feel like you are holding a phone. But since it has no functionality, you will have no choice but to interact with the people and world around you.
The developers give instructions for its use.
“Pick it up. Hold it.”
There is, however, an upgrade available for the NoPhone. Obviously, as noted above, this is not “necessary”, but it is available. It is called the Selfie Upgrade. It is a small “reflective mirror sticker” that can be applied to the surface of the NoPhone. The Upgrade mirror sticker does not come attached to the NoPhone. You have to apply it yourself.
— NoPhone (@NoPhone2) September 9, 2014
One of the most-asked questions about the NoPhone is: “Is this a joke?” The developers answer emphatically, “No.” They were seeking $5000 to start production of the NoPhone. So far, with mere minutes to go in the campaign, they have received pledges totaling $18,267.
The minimum pledge is $1, but a pledge of $12 or more gets the donor one NoPhone, with estimated delivery of December 2014. An $18 pledge gets the NoPhone with Selfie Upgrade.
Further increments of pledges simply get the donor more NoPhones with possible Selfie Upgrades. This carries on up to 250 NoPhones for a pledge of $2,250 or more. Then, at the $5,000 pledge level, one of NoPhone’s developers will hand-deliver your NoPhone to you, “no matter where you live, anywhere in the world”, along with an instruction manual.
For NoPhone Kickstarter campaign pledges of $7,999 or more, there is a “14K gold-plated” version of the original NoPhone. So far, none have been claimed.
— NoPhone (@NoPhone2) October 16, 2014
Business Insider reported in September, “If you have $12, are addicted to your smartphone, and are too insecure to be seen without it, you may be interested in the NoPhone, a recent Kickstarter project that’s already raised over $2,500.”
That number is now over $18,000.