Upcoming tech company Lirpa Sloof (LS) has just launched the world’s first smartphone designed to help you be more mindful. LS hope to sell over a million units this month, and grow exponentially, up to a 100 millions units a month, but ‘in a mindful way’, according to the new CEO, Seamus Alidee. A string of leading figures, including former US President Barack Obama, jump to make an order.
I managed to get an interview with Chief Mindful Officer, Dr. Xili Jhok, to find out if it’s worth buying.
Shamash: So, exactly how does your new phone help users to be mindful?
Dr. Jhok: The phone’s opening screen has a single button - mindful mode. When you click that button, the phone ensures you’re mindful.
Shamash: What does mindful mode do?
Dr Jhok: In mindful mode, all calls and texts are blocked. You can't check social media. And you can't watch cat videos on YouTube or listen to trashy music on Spotify. You’re essentially forced to live and operate in the real world - a more mindful place to be, according to our extensive studies.
Shamash: So what exactly can you do in mindful mode on your phone?
Dr Jhok: Nothing...Well, actually, you can press the unmindful mode after an hour and go back to your normal phone use. Also we’re proud to say our phone doesn’t allow selfies as our mindfulness consultant told us ultimately there is no self (uncontrollable laughter by Dr. Jhok here!).
Shamash: Anything else? Can you make an emergency call in mindful mode if you’re in trouble?
Dr. Jhok: No. Our researchers found people actually got so bored they started to call the emergency services just to have a chat. So we were requested to block that features by the local authorities.
Shamash: With all these features blocked, isn’t mindful mode the same as having your phone off? Or not having a phone at all?!
Dr. Jhok: No at all. Our research has revealed that our users get very anxious without their phone. So they'd prefer to have a phone in mindful mode rather than not have a phone at all. It makes them feel much calmer knowing they have a phone on, but mindful.
Shamash: You also have a permanent mindful mode for those who buy the upgrade. What does permanent mindful mode do?
Dr. Jhok: In that case, you can't go unmindful. It's long term mindful. A great solution for people who want to be super mindful. I have one myself - I love it! I do also have a couple of other phones for work, but just carry my phone when I want to be mindful and relaxed.
Shamash: Permanent mindful mode... that's basically carrying around your iRepof U phone that can’t do anything at all, isn’t it?
Dr. Jjok: The evidence suggests carrying around the phone that doesn’t do anything is better for your status than no phone at all. You have something to touch. Something to put on the table over dinner. Something to look at when your partner goes to the toilet/restroom/walks away in disgust.
Shamash: How much is the iRepof U selling for? And when is it available?
Dr. Jhok: The phone is out today, 1st April. It retails at $1000 for the basic iRepof U version, and permanent upgrade on the iRepof U-XTRA is $1999.99 (+ mindful tax + other un-optional extras).
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Want to see this in an app? Seriously?
If our team gets to at least £1000 by midnight tonight, we’ll hire someone (who really needs the money) to build an app that blocks as much of the iPhone as is currently possible. We also guarantee funny(ish) emails every month, for 6 months, updating you on progress. That’s about 17p a smile - bargain!
If we don’t hit the target, we’ll donate the money to UNICEF. You have until midnight today on 1st April 2018.
Our guarantee - this offer will not make you any more mindful. Yup. All this bit is still true.