On an average, we spend about 3 hours each day on our phones. While technology enables us to do more, its overuse is beginning to show negative effects on our sleep, psychology and relationships. Our digital interactions are designed to persuade us to binge and mindlessly consume digital content. Phone interactions have become overly insistent and irresponsibly demanding. While certain phone makers have recently begun notifying us of our phone use habits, these notifications are merely passive indicators and hardly signal overuse or help us change our digital habits. Moreover, the user experience does not prevent us from simply dismissing the warning and resuming our digital experience.
Through this research I have designed enLighten. An hourglass shaped bedside lamp that tracks your phone use in bed and correspondingly transitions from a pleasant mint green to a throbbing red to make you aware of prolonged interaction. The lamp rewards good behavior by transitioning the light in reverse when the screen is turned off for a few minutes. The lamp lets you determine and set goals of time and the apps to track. Through these functions enLighten nudges you to break away from your phone, unwind from the stresses of the day, be mindful of your health, your time and the people around you. enLighten enables you to do these things by helping you take the first steps of being aware of your digital habits and controlling them in playful ways.
//enLighten is an ongoing exploration in Shreyans' graduate thesis