A new mobile phone app is aiming to break users away from their screens by offering real-world incentives – with a catch.
The Hold app is available to download now and works on a point system that deters users from checking their phones. Every 20 minutes you can go without checking your phone will net you 10 points.
The phone will not let you have any interaction during the time, so if you check the clock, you need to wait for another 20 minutes to accrue 10 points. It also will not run between 11pm and 7am, meaning if you are up late, you can stare at your screen as much as you want.
But what's the catch? You must be a student to use Hold and you can only earn points when you are at university or school. Location tracking is used to keep people honest.
So what kind of things can you get with the points? Here are a few of the items in the Hold marketplace:
- 60 points earns a free regular popcorn at Vue cinemas;
- 60 points will get you £4.99 movie tickets at Vue cinemas;
- 150 points gets you a free coffee at Costa;
- 30 points gets you an Amazon scratchcard, which can win £50; and
- 30 points will get you 20% off at Onepiece.
The Hold website and app pledges that students can get back nine hours of productivity while also earning freebies. The app was made in Scandinavia and is currently only available to students in Norway, Sweden and the UK.
Anyone not studying who wants the app is out of luck, for the time being at least. Gizmodo pointed out that Facebook was originally only available to students when it launched in 2006. How things have changed.