Fighting smartphone addiction with Arduino
January 11th, 2021—
How many times a day do you grab your phone for trivial purposes, such as scrolling through social media? Nick O’Hara found that his number was around 100 times during the workday, which sounds like a lot, but is likely pretty typical. To combat these micro-distractions, he built an Arduino-based device that senses when a phone is placed on top of it using a microswitch.
When the phone is lifted, it connects to the network via a WiFi module, and donates money to charity. What O’Hara discovered was that his usage went down significantly when he automatically donated $1 per pickup, settling on about 10 checks, or $10 each day. As he increased donation/pickup level, his daily usage still came out to about $10, which would seem to be an interesting psychological experiment.