Checking for notifications is fine as long as it doesn’t become a compulsion and not being able to do so bothers you. It only gets worse when your phone keeps buzzing during an interview, meeting or even social gatherings. An app called “Lock n’ LoL” (Lock Your Smartphone and Laugh Out Loud) and developed by researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea, the app helps people restrain themselves from using smartphones during meetings or social gatherings. It locks down your phone for the duration of the meeting. users create a room or join an existing room. meeting participants or friends can be invited to the room by sharing its ID with them. This locks down all the member’s phone till the meeting is adjourned.
When phones are in the lock mode, all alarms and notifications are automatically muted and users must ask permission to unlock their phones. However, in an emergency, users can access their phones for accumulative five minutes in a temporary unlimited mode.
“We conducted the ‘Lock n’ LoL’ campaign throughout the campus for one month this year with 1,000 students participating. We discovered that students accumulated more than 10,000 free hours from using the app on their smartphones,” said lead researcher professor Uichin Lee. The students were able to focus more on their group activities.
“In an age of the ‘Internet of Things’, we expect that the adverse effects of mobile distractions and addictions will emerge as a social concern, and our Lock n’ LoL is a key effort to address this issue,” he noted. In addition, the app’s “Co-location Reminder” detects and lists nearby users to encourage app users to limit their phone use.
The “Lock n’ LoL” also displays important statistics to monitor users’ behaviour such as the current week’s total limit time, the weekly average usage time, top friends ranked by time spent together and top activities in which the users participated. “This app will certainly help family members to interact more with each other during the holiday season,” professor Lee added.
The “Lock n’ LoL” is available for free download on the App Store and Google Play