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Brief Published: 29 Jan 2015

Framing Reality


Texas-based advertising agency The Company of Others has created Realism – a smart device that encourages people to interact with each other without being distracted by their devices.

Realism is a handheld polycarbonate frame that breaks down the "digital barrier" by prompting users to power down other devices and focus on the present. Part product, part public service message, Realism is not anti-technology. However, it questions whether people should live for the moment or film it.

Users of smart devices check their devices between 120 and 180 times a day on average. Those aged eight to 18 are on screen more than 55 hours a week – more than a full-time job, according to the agency.

"Smart devices, as most of us know them, have created an epidemic of missed opportunities, missed moments and missed connections. What happened to great conversations, focused concentration or simply being present?" said Scott Brown, president of The Company of Others.

Our Battling Busyness report outlines strategies to empower consumers to strip away digital noise. For more on creating a better tech-life balance, see Norton Frequency-Blocking Jeans, US Tech-Life Balance, App Manages Smartphone Addiction and South Korea's 'Chill Out' Competition.