We live in a constantly connected world. Today, smartphones are a window to the rest of the world that sits right at our fingertips. They give us access to endless information and allows us to voice our thoughts and ideas with ease.
If you read my social media-related article, you’ll know I am a huge proponent of social media as a tool to bring the world together. However, as my daily life becomes filled with more social interaction across the world, I discovered that over-stimming can really take a toll on my mental health. With 24 hours of access to absolutely everything at all times, it just becomes too much. That’s where MOMO comes in.
Have you ever imagined a lamp which can express different emotions like a pet ? MOMO.#award, #innovation, #lamp, #design, #cellphone, #momo, @InZhejiang @XHNews https://t.co/qIORbEg7HB pic.twitter.com/eUVGUQOndd
— Zhejiang University (@ZJU_China) March 19, 2020
How MOMO can help you unplug for a while
I think the idea behind MOMO is ingenious. Humans have a habit of anthropomorphizing just about anything we can. This can be seen with things like Roomba, Amazon Alexa, and even the ever-popular USB pet rock. It came as no surprise the moment I saw MOMO. I thought it was an adorable little robot with a cute little face and it made me want one.
MOMO may look like a little robot pal but it’s more of a functional art piece. It is a lamp that can express moods, designed to encourage you to unplug for a while. It does this by “begging” for your phone. You can turn its frown upside-down simply by giving it your phone for a little while.
Simply put your phone into MOMO’s mouth and it smiles away happily. This is achieved via a pressure plate that reacts to your phone’s weight. This connects to a rod that activates MOMOs expression. If you remove your phone, MOMO becomes slightly perturbed and will remain so, silently judging you until you return your phone into its jaws.
MOMO offers a few modest features, besides the change of expression. Giving it a little pat puts it to sleep. Meanwhile, swiping the top of its head allows you to adjust the intensity of the light MOMO puts out.
The team that designed MOMO – Zheng Zi, Yang Qihao, and Li Jiaji – won the Asia Design Prize for 2020 with MOMO. This is a coveted prize amongst those with the desire to bring us into the future. With its clever blend of art and function to help people step away for a little while, I can easily see how MOMO could be a part of everyone’s future.