One of the weirdest gadgets to be revealed at this year’s Mobile World Congress was Monohm Inc.’s Runcible, the first personal device for the post-smartphone era, or the anti-smartphone. The circular phone, which takes its name from a nonsense word coined by Edward Lear, is designed to help you re-calibrate your life and remember what’s truly important, without being distracted by technology (are we the only ones who think it slightly ironic that we apparently need a technological device to help us do this?)
The Runcible is modelled on a pocket watch or compass, the kind of devices people carried in the days before smartphones became glued to our hands. Its aim is “to refocus users’ attention on real people or the real world”, so it will never interrupt you with bleeps or alerts.
The unique round interface includes a high-performance phone and camera, but has a simple interface – there are no apps or software to get your head around, just one easy-to-use device.
The Runcible has been designed as a “tech heirloom”: all of its parts can be removed, repaired and upgraded so the device will never become obsolete and you won’t find yourself upgrading every year or two.
It’s packed with features that are all about making you reconnect with the world around you instead of getting lost in a virtual one. For example, the maps program will show you the most interesting route to take instead of the quickest.
Granted, it’s probably not the best choice of smartphone for keeping up with the charts, but it’s just the thing to stop you getting distracted while you’re enjoying a well-earned break. And it’s definitely a talking point.
The Runcible will be available in late 2015. Pricing has yet to be confirmed – but get a full preview here.