Google decided to invest in a very simple solution to combat addiction to smartphones and reduce the time spend in front of the mobile devices. Its Digital Wellbeing initiative thus offers several applications to limit its use of Android smartphones. Previously, Google presented the Paper Phone to get rid of smartphones.
And now, as a part of the same digital experimentation platform, Google has released a new mobile case called ‘Envelope,’ in which the cell phone is stored and sealed, preventing its normal use. It temporarily transforms your phone into a simpler, calmer device, helping you take a break away from your digital world.
Google Envelope comes in two models, both made entirely of paper. One model turns your mobile into a much simpler phone, where only the keypad works. The second model turns it into a photo and video camera without a screen. Paper buttons are lightly illuminated by the cellphone, so you know what you can do.
Both Envelope models can be printed via a pdf that will generate the package after it is printed. After assembling and cutting it following the instructions, the user envelops the device and closes it with glue. Once you’re ready to take a break from using your smartphone, simply activate the app, which will take over the device.
The second model, not yet available, turns the mobile into a photo and video camera without a screen. Viewing the photos will wait until the end of the day since the packaging must be removed, which means tearing it apart. As soon as you take the device out of the Envelope, you will receive a message stating how long you have been able to use it without a fully functional smartphone.
See how it works
The search giant released a video showing how its unusual tool to decrease cell phone use and combat digital addiction works. Check out:
The idea is to help the user spend less time on the smartphone. And since you only need a sheet of paper, a printer, a little glue, and a free app, everyone can try out whether Envelope is good – at least as long as you have a Pixel 3a. The app is available on GitHub as an open-source project, so resourceful programmers can change the functionality as they please.