MORE TH>N has launched a ‘prosthetic phone’ in response to research which reveals that a percentage of smartphone users see their phone as ‘an extra limb’.

Research carried out by the company as part of its Give Your Mobile The Boot campaign discovered that 35% of Brits claim to have experienced ‘phantom vibration syndrome’ where they believe their phone is ringing or vibrating when it is not, while an additional 12% have ‘phone separation anxiety’.

MORE TH>N is trialling an artificial phone designed to alleviate anxiety that people can experience when separated from their real device. The new prototype is a ‘mobile phone surrogate’ that has been designed to replicate the exact weight and dimensions of a typical smartphone – the only difference is that it comes without ANY of the technical capabilities. No phone, no camera, no internet – in reality, it’s just a piece of black plastic.

While the product may not sound particularly scientific, its development has been informed by a number of recent university studies into the issue of smartphone addiction.

Could a FAKE phone prevent distracted driving?

MORE TH>N’s ‘prosthetic phone’ aims to provide users who are eager to ease their reliance on their real device, and limit the amount of time they spend with it, with a tech-free alternative that mirrors the shape and feel of a standard iPhone.

MORE TH>N is currently looking for volunteers to trial the artificial phones and to feed back on how effective they are at easing phone separation anxiety.

Kenny Leitch, global connected insurance director at MORE TH>N, said: “Smartphone addiction is clearly an issue that is attributing to the British public’s continued use of mobile phones when driving, in spite of the range of potential negative repercussions of doing so. That’s why we’ve created this artificial phone, which sets out to help people alleviate the anxiety that can often be experienced when we’re without our real device. While we have initially created a limited run of prototypes for self-confessed PSA sufferers to trial and feedback on, if they prove to be a hit, we are certainly eager to make them widely available so more people can feel confident that they don’t need their phone behind the wheel.”

People wishing to register their interest in taking part in a one-week ‘clinical trial’ of the artificial phone prototype, in return for a £20 Amazon voucher, can do so by visiting the MORE TH>N Facebook page for more information.