Put down the damn phone!

It's a fairly common sight: a group of friends sitting at a table in a restaurant or bar and no one is talking to each other. Instead, everyone is staring at their phone.

For anyone who believes the art of conversation is slowly dying from an overreliance on technology, there is now an app to help you keep your hands off the phone. 

Downside, a new app developed by the team at Collective Idea, makes a game out of not touching your phone. In a nutshell, the game begins when you are part of a group that is gathered and sitting with each other. You flip your phones face down, and the first person to pick it up loses. 

According to Tim Bugai, software developer, versions of this game have been played informally for awhile, but Bugai and his coworkers decided it would make a great iPhone game. "About a year ago, someone introduced us to this concept. When the company went to lunch, we played it for fun. Recently, we were working on a different app and it occurred to me that we could use that technology to build an iPhone app that would be similar to the game we'd been playing. Our schedule had flow time in it so we jumped at it. It took us about a month."

Bugai says the big thing about the game is that it takes back the dinner table. "Technology is not a bad thing, but there are times where we need to talk," Bugai says. Besides using the app during team lunches and happy hours, Collective Idea envisions other uses, like family events and business meetings. 

To learn more about the app, including where to download it, you can visit the site here. To learn more about Collective Idea, you can visit their site here.  

Source: Tim Bugai, Collective Idea
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
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