Can Technology Help Us Be More Mindful?
Technology has made us increasingly susceptible to distractions, reducing the quality of our lives. But can technology also be used to help us live more mindfully? This week, we speak with Caroline Cadwell, the CEO and co-founder of Unpluq, a startup that aims to help people use technology more intentionally.
The Idea Behind Unpluq
Unpluq is an app, subscription service, and keychain tag that encourages users to be more mindful of their use of smartphones, social media, and other addictive apps. The idea is to help people overcome the behavior patterns that technology has implanted in us, and to create small barriers to help us be more intentional about our use of technology.
The premium version of the app allows users to set schedules for opening selected apps, while the keychain tag is used to unlock certain apps. This “intentional friction” helps users make a conscious choice about whether or not to use the app, and discourages automatic behavior.
The startup was co-founded by Caroline Cadwell, Jorn Rigter (Chief Technology Officer), and Tim Smits (Chief Product Officer), and is a recent graduate of the Techstars Seattle accelerator program.
“Unpluq is trying to help people overcome what has been engineered against the very biology of being human,” Cadwell explains.
The Future of Unpluq
Currently, Unpluq offers an Android app, with an iPhone version coming soon. The company offers an Unpluq tag and a premium one-year subscription for $59.95 (normally $3.99 per month).
I’ve been testing out Unpluq tag and service for the past several weeks, and I’ll be writing more about my experience in an upcoming post on GeekWire.
Listen to the full interview on the GeekWire Podcast, and subscribe to GeekWire on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.