NoPhone From 'Shark Tank' Is Available Now If You Just Can't Put Your Phone Down
Have you ever struggled to put your smartphone down? Well, one of the latest products featured on Shark Tank, NoPhone, offers a rather unique way to combat that problem. First conceived of by co-founders Ingmar Larsen and Van Gould, the NoPhone is billed quite simply as "a plastic rectangle that replaces the need for smart rectangle device interaction." It's one of those products that so deftly straddles the line between seriousness and parody that it's almost difficult to tell which side it falls on — though I think it's safe to say that we're in on the joke this time around. After all, as the product's Kickstarter campaign quipped, "Does it have a camera? No. Is it Bluetooth compatible? No. Does it make calls? No. Is it toilet bowl resistant? Yes."
Though, as co-founder Larsen pointed out to ABC news, it works similarly to a nicotine patch, in that it helps individuals wean themselves from their phones, as he explained, "What inspired us is the fact that a lot of people around us nowadays are focused on their mobile devices and not on the social environment anymore ... We wanted to make people aware of their addiction by creating a product that can be used for their addiction. It works as a placebo."
That's pretty much it an a nutshell — the NoPhone is a toilet bowl resistant plastic smartphone placebo that doesn't really do much of anything, really. The new "selfie upgrade" comes equipped with a mirror, but that's about as fancy as it gets. To that effect, perhaps its coolest feature is the fact that it's exactly the same size and weight as your standard iPhone 4.
Useless as it may be, it's a fun project, and as such, it's certainly managed to stir up a fair amount of interest, garnering write-ups in The New York Times, Time, and more. As the brand's co-founder Van Gould explained to Time, "We want to become the largest fake phone company in the world ... That’s kind of the goal."
Unfortunately, it looks like Shark Tank won't be a part of their journey towards becoming the largest fake phone company in the world — because as silly and witty as their campaign was (no to mention their tiny overhead), Gould and Larsen didn't end up receiving the $25,000 investment that they requested to help distribute their product. However, they are still selling NoPhones through the company website, so you can purchase one for $10 if they caught your interest on Shark Tank.