Let’s be honest, how many of us feel FOMO if we have to separate from our phones for even the smallest amount of time? Smartphone addiction has been a problem even before COVID ( Report show that 60% of U.S. college students consider themselves to have a cell phone addiction) – the quarantine, separation, and fear of the unknown has raised this addiction to a whole level! The solution to this? Practicing mindfulness. The Japanese have been practicing meditation and mindfulness through centuries, one of the prime examples of this is the minimalistic beauty of the zen garden. Designer Juwon Kim decided to merge tech and tradition, creating a design that aims to improve our lifestyle by helping us break free from our bad habits and to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Meet HYUU – a wireless smartphone charger elevated to help you break the obsessive need to keep checking on our phones while charging so we can return back to our mindless scrolling! Almost meditative in design, HYUU takes inspiration from the Japanese zen gardens. The gadget’s surface replicates the patterns we find in the sand with an incense-stick like indicator that attaches to its base. The process of placing your gadget on the charger means taking a break from constant exposure to content. This process of leaving your device to charge is also a way to get some quality me-time, so at the end of the day, you are not left wondering – where did the day just go?! Now, the initial moment of keeping our gadgets and walking away feels almost scary according to the designer “Because FOMO is an only human and universal emotion, it cannot be completely eliminated, but I tried to put the meaning of time, situation, and space that can be controlled. Therefore, what about providing time to look back on yourself without blaming yourself for feeling FOMO?” The simple indicator comes into play here – as your device charges, the led indicator on the incense stick also lowers, signaling an end to the relaxation time while keeping in check our compulsive need to continuously keep checking our phones. The charging level of the phone can now be known without actually looking at the screen – giving you quality, uninterrupted me time!
“Karesansui(かれさんすい), which is based on ‘discovering something out of nothing’, is a space where you can look at the garden and answer your own question.” says the designer. The same way, this wireless charger is a small yet definitive step to help you disconnect and focus on your self. Afterall as our favorite Grand Jedi Master Yoda puts it ‘In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.’ Let’s come out of this quarantine with an improved understanding of ourselves!
Designer: Juwon Kim