Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) researchers have developed an application to help people rein in their impulse to use smartphones during meetings or social gatherings via peer pressure while still permitting their use for emergencies.
The Lock Your Smartphone and Laugh Out Loud (Lock n' LoL) app enables users to create a new room or join an existing room, and then invite meeting participants or friends to the room and share its ID with them to put the Group Limit (lock) mode into action. All alarms and notifications are automatically muted in lock mode, and users must request permission to unlock their phones. However, in an emergency, users can access their phones for five minutes in a provisional unlimit mode.
In addition, Lock n' LoL's Co-location Reminder senses and lists nearby users to encourage them to restrain their phone use. The app also displays key statistics to monitor users' behavior, such as the current week's total limit time, the weekly average usage time, top friends ranked by time spent together, and top activities in which users participated.
"In an age of the Internet of Things, we expect that the adverse effects of mobile distractions and addictions will emerge as a social concern, and our Lock n' LoL is a key effort to address this issue," says KAIST professor Uichin Lee.
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