Did you simply have a look at your cellphone? Are you your cellphone proper now? I am typing this on a PC, and I am two telephones. We could also be our telephones an excessive amount of, however we won’t cease ourselves. Enter Siempo, an Android cellphone that is designed to be so much much less intrusive than rival units.
I am fascinated by easy telephones, most likely as a result of I do know I would like an intervention. Siempo is not an inexpensive characteristic cellphone just like the Blu Tank II or a gadget for the aged just like the Doro SmartEasy: it is a midrange, high-quality Android cellphone with restricted capabilities, which is designed to offer you essential info however to not oppress.
I like the concept, however there is a catch, after all: it does not exist but. Siempo founder Jorge Selva defined that the startup remains to be selecting manufacturing companions and hopes to have its $349 cellphone on the market by the tip of the 12 months. The LTE-capable cellphone will most likely be suitable with AT&T and T-Cellular.
(The Selva confirmed me was a dummy; the display screen pictures you see under come from the Siempo software program stack working on a Nexus 5X.)
Preserve It Easy (However Not Silly)
The thought for Siempo took place when Selva was caught utilizing a characteristic cellphone on a visit to Peru.
“After two weeks on that journey, I used to be sitting there and stated, huh, I really feel a lot much less anxious and distracted,” he stated.
So why not simply construct or purchase a characteristic cellphone? Within the US, characteristic telephones are at a crossroads. Carriers are demanding voice-over-LTE for cellphone calling, which characteristic cellphone OSes usually do not help. And there are lots of easy options, like cloud syncing for contacts, that are straightforward to do on Android however tough to do on characteristic cellphone OSes.
“We constructed our personal design of , our personal working system, and an e-ink display screen, however realized it wasn’t viable and pivoted into this,” Selva stated.
“This” is an Android cellphone with a small however manageable display screen and a 5-megapixel digicam on the again. (A lot of the specs are in flux.) There is not any front-facing digicam so you do not find yourself obsessing about your self.
The stripped-down working system, based mostly on the open-source elements of Android, simply presents you with a textual content entry area the place you sort what you wish to do: “name” or “textual content,” as an example. You can too swipe proper to see a really calm, restful menu with a set listing of apps. There is not any app retailer, however if you happen to desperately want a sure app, you may set up an APK.
Two customized apps—”conscious morning” and “tempo”—allow you to lock out varied options and notifications for set durations of time so you may deal with different issues. “Our purpose is to get folks to take again that management over time,” Selva stated.
The cellphone may have a “gentle e mail and browser expertise,” maybe targeted solely on key correspondents and essential websites, Selva stated. For messaging, Siempo is SMS for the US and WhatsApp for Europe.
Whereas there are apps that stop overuse on Android, they’re too straightforward to dodge, he stated. Baking limits into the core of the cellphone reduces “cognitive load” and makes it straightforward to loosen up, he stated.
Can Siempo Merely Survive?
Making a cellphone startup may be very exhausting, and I’ve seen many fail. Navigating the Chinese language manufacturing panorama could be tough, and once you’re working at very small volumes, it turns into costly to provide particular person merchandise. Siempo should cost $349 for a much bigger firm might promote for much less. That is a midrange unlocked phone value, to make sure, however it’ll be exhausting for folks to not mentally evaluate this to sub-$100 characteristic telephones.
I believe there is a market, if a distinct segment market, for Siempo’s easy machine. I see it in my own residence: my spouse and I want to deal with studying books at evening, as an example, however I simply cannot assist my cellphone. The fabric and end on the cellphone should be wonderful, and the interface should be clear and easy. I hope they make it.
Siempo is presently on Kickstarter, which hopefully doesn’t imply it should fall prey to the hardware crowdsourcing curse.