Tech in Action: A reminder for when you’ve had too much screen time

A Swedish insurance brand uses a smart lamp to help people get off their phones.

The endless nature of content on the internet can make it hard to know when you are “done” using it for the day. But one brand is using a smart lamp to create a visual cue – and an economic incentive – to take notice of how much time you spend in the virtual world.

Swedish insurance brand Länsförsäkringar has made reducing screen time a key brand value in recent years, encouraging people to instead spend more quality time with friends and family. It recently partnered with agency Stendahls to create The Skärmfri Lamp (“screen-free”), which is connected to WiFi and measures how much time is spent browsing. As more time is spent online, the light from the lamp gradually changes from regular white light to red, informing a user when their time is up.

To take this idea a step further, the agency partnered with Hotel Bellora in Gothenburg, outfitting one of its rooms – the “Check-Out Suite” – with one of the lamps. If the lamp turned fully red, the guests would have to pay the full price of the room for the night. However, the farther under the limit the occupants came, the more that would get knocked off the price, with the hope being they’ll instead spend quality time with family or go out to explore the city.