A lot of us are quick to admit without shame that we spend an exorbitant portion of our days staring at our smartphone screens. The average person spends approximately 444 minutes (almost 7.5 hours) a day staring at screens, whether it’s a television, computer, or cellphone. Admittedly, this is just the way things are nowadays with our phones being filled with dozens of apps and constantly going off with notifications. An Oakland-based startup is looking to change that by introducing a modern, yet simplified smartphone they hope mitigates the distractions our cellphones throw at us throughout the day.
Known as the Siempo, the startup’s developers hope their new cellphone can provide a promising option for people looking to prevent themselves from being consumed by smartphone distractions. Although the cellphone’s current designs are just mockups, the cellphone is supposed to have a four-inch display and what’s described as quality equivalent to the iPhone 5. The Siempo will also have a low-power processor, 8 GB of storage, and a high-resolution camera on the back (with no counterpart on the front). The cellphone is only expected to work with GSM networks like AT&T, T-Mobile, and is currently being sold on Kickstarter for $279; although the plan is for the Siempo to go on retail for around $349.
While the Siempo is expected to be very user-friendly, the cellphone won’t be incredibly powerful when compared to the latest smartphone brands. The software (which is supposed to be a selling point for the device’s target audience) will run what’s described as a “drastically stripped-down” rendition of the Android’s open-source version. Siempo’s developers want the cellphone to be simple, but not so dumb that its limited capabilities can be compared to the old flip phones from the 90s and early 00s.
In terms of basic functions, users will be able to send and receive SMS text messages, phone calls, and use a “restrained” email or web browser, which Siempo hasn’t provided any additional information. The only mainstream apps the cellphone will reportedly feature are similar to Google Maps, Calendar, along with being able to take photos and set alarms. Overall, the cellphone is designed to stay modern, but only be used for a few seconds at a time.
Siempo will also have a feature to pause notifications (but still receive notifications from certain contacts). The cellphone will feature a “tempo” option that issues your notifications in controlled intervals, along with a “snooze” option for notifications as well. The device will also feature a “mindful morning” feature that enables you to block certain time slots from receiving notifications while you’re engaged in other activities like reading, exercising, etc.
Most of the Siempo’s functions will run through an “intentions bar” on the home screen, through which you’ll have access to the cellphone’s features without being distracting or illicit multitasking. A text message, for example, is done by typing in your contact’s name in the intentions bar, after which you’ll be able to type and send your message. Siempo currently doesn’t have an app store so you can’t download social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. The cellphone currently doesn’t have any place to open third-party programs for that matter, but Siempo plans to extend the device’s capabilities to certain downloadable apps that pertain to productivity and adhere to the startup’s distraction-free theme.
Siempo’s Kickstarter campaign has raised a little over $40,000, which is just a fraction of their $500,000 goal. The startup hopes to make the Siempo publically available by January 2018.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)