You probably now spend more time with your smartphone than your significant other. And even when both are in the same room, phones are hard to ignore. Thirty percent of us admit that we don’t have the willpower to avoid checking our phone during dinner with others. A new app does the work for you: When you’re at home, on a date, or with a friend, your phone will automatically silence itself.
“Ever since the smartphone came out, I was getting more conscious about people using smartphones while meeting with them,” says designer Ilwon Yoon, who created the concept for the new app. “I used to ask them not to look at the phone as a favor, but it didn’t really work. Then I found myself doing the same thing despite what I wanted to do.”
The app, called Shhhh, uses GPS to detect when you and a friend are together, or if you’re in a designated location like your home. Then it turns off notifications for a set period of time. If you get a text message, the app will automatically reply, saying that you’re with friends or family.
While turning off your phone or using airplane mode might accomplish the same thing, Yoon points out the most of us don’t really have the self-discipline. It’s also inconvenient. “You don’t want to turn your phone off every single time you meet people, and you won’t remember to turn it off as you could bump into your friends on the street,” he says. “That’s why I think automatic activation is critical for this type of application to work.”
The app is a concept now, but Yoon plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign next year to fully develop it.