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Could you replace your smartphone with a ‘Paper Phone’?

Jessica Yun
(Source: Special Projects Studio)
(Source: Special Projects Studio)

There’s no escaping technology in our lives: we carry it in on our bodies, we drive in it, we work with it, and it watches our every move.

But designers have come up with a new concept: the Paper Phone.

Listed on Experiments with Google and designed by London-based Special Projects Studio, Paper Phone is designed to help you “have a little break away from your digital world by printing a personal booklet of the key information you’ll need that day”.

(Source: Special Projects Studio)
(Source: Special Projects Studio)

Available for Android users, you’ll have to download the open source Paper Phone app from Google Play. (If you can’t find it, here’s a link.)

The app allows you to choose the information you need, such as contacts, maps, meetings, task lists or the weather, and then organises it on a sheet of paper which you can then print.

(Source: Special Projects Studio)
(Source: Special Projects Studio)

There are also customisable ‘paper apps’ like recipes, phrasebooks or notepads that let you do what you need to do.

(Source: Special Projects Studio)
(Source: Special Projects Studio)

“We hope this little experiment can help you try a digital detox from technology and help you focus on the things that matter the most,” wrote Special Projects.

(Source: Special Projects Studio)
(Source: Special Projects Studio)

And if you’re concerned about the impact of printing paper on the environment, the studio points out that printing a page a day would produce 10 grams of carbon dioxide a year, while using your mobile phone for just an hour a day creates a stunning 1.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year when you take into account the energy required for network and server infrastructure.


So if you need a break from your phone, try printing it out.

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