Slides Framework
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  • Phone Farm(ing) utilises idle sensor data and processor capacity of our phones while reducing their negative effect on social interaction. The network of farm-stations will provide safe storage and charging for phones whilst harvesting sensor data and processing power. These sources work towards an open source cloud database and computing network. Stations will be placed in social spaces like clubs, bars and restaurants.

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      Computing & Database Network

      For the time we are not on our phones, we can let them work for us and the community. The unused processing power and the collected sensor data will be released to a bigger network.

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      Distraction-Free Zones

      A lot of places like restaurants or bars are highly affected by the disproportionate presence of smartphones and digital devices. Let’s create some distraction-free space without them.

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      Accessable for everyone

      The shared resources can be used for educational, artistic and scientific projects. It democratizes access to computing power and big data.

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      Get rewarded

      For distributing to the network, all Farmers will be rewarded with Attention Coins. The coins can be redeemed at partnering places or to run projects on the network.

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    Did you know that a phone from today is as fast as 120,000,000 ‘Apollo 11’ computers that actually brought people to the moon? If we take Moore’s law into account, this capacity doubles every two years. We can use this power, unplug ourselves and plug our phones into one of the Phone Farms - to distribute this power to a bigger network.

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    The smartphones in our pockets are true magic machines. Full of sensors, capturing every move or change in our environment. Besides a lot of companies are already using that data for their own commercial interest, we don’t use it for our community. Wouldn’t it be nice to give this data anonymously to a database which is accessible for educational or scientific projects?

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    Effect on society

    Many studies have shown, that the mere presence of smartphones has a negative effect on face to face interactions. Moreover, the devices and services are designed to make the user addicted. An experiment with Millennials showed, that after about 15 minutes away from their phones the subjects started to feel anxiety. Let’s use the same methods as these companies do, but this time to keep us away from the screens!

Use-Cases for Phone Farm (ing).

Nowadays phones already have 25% of the capacity of an average computer according to BOINC (Berkeley University). A network of many phones could fire up a serious amount of computing power for all types of calculations. Let’s build a decentralized, open-source computer power network and database. The Phone Farm network will be accessible for any cultural and communal project that has no capacity to do the math by themselves. Machine Learning, infrastructure, health, big data calculations, app development and film renderings - to name a few. The options are endless and allow to build a collective economy for real-time collaboration.

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    Schools & Universities

    Schools and universities are highly affected by the presence of phones. Studies have shown, that students get distracted very easy and that the time to refocus increases disproportionately. The Farm could be installed in the classroom to motivate the students to unplug for the time of studying. At the same time, schools and universities could use the farm for their own projects.

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    Live concerts & Clubs

    Concerts and clubs are spots for some of our most emotional memories. Of course, we want to keep them and remember them. In consequence, we often hide behind our black mirror to catch every moment for later. What if we could experience concerts the best possible way and still get enough material to recall the memories of this night? If you unplug, Phone Farm (ing) will provide you with exclusive pictures and videos from the event. So you don‘t have to worry about missing the chance to take a memory home or to share it with your friends.

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    Restaurants & Bars

    UK pub chain Samuel Smith Old Brewery banned phones from their pubs and treat them the same way as cigarettes. The customers have to go out to use their phone. The aim is to encourage conversation. Before starting to treat phones that way, Phone Farms will be places in restaurant and bars, while promoting a phone free time with some discounts in exchange for Attention Coins. In this way, we promote a distracted free time as the new normal.

  • Experience Dinner

    Together with Collective Edibles, we invited to a dinner hosted by LEKA where we asked our guests to give us their phones for the time of the dinner. The video shows comments and refelctions about the project and the experience.

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  • The accompanying app

    The Phone Farm (ing) app will guide you to Phone Farm (ing) spaces, manage your Coins and compare your score with friends.

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      You will find a map in the app that shows all the spaces and partners providing Phone Farms.

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      In the wallet, you will find all you earned Attention Coins.

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      In the friends’ section, you can compare the time between you and your friends away from your phones.

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      A calendar will show you all events where Phone Farm (ing) is available.

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      Status & Settings

      In the status view, you will so if you’re phone is connected to the Farm network. Additionally, you can adjust in the settings what projects you would like to support and what data you would like to share.

  • Farm-station prototype

    The prototype is a desktop version of the stations and showcases to approach of modularity and inveracity. It is divided into two main components. The component on the top is the technical compartment which houses all electronics and lights. On the top end, a sheet of acrylic is applied with interactive backlighting that reacts on the number of phones connected to the farm. The second main component is the phone compartment. Each of them provides two lockable spaces for phones.

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Attention Coins

The Attention Coin is a blockchain based cryptocurrency that can only be spent and earned in the closed economy of Phone Farm(ing).

  • Step 1


    The coins can be earned by using the Phone Farm. The factor is time. As more time you leave your phone in the compartments the more coins you earn.

  • Step 2


    All tokens you have earned can be spent in two ways. The one is to exchange it for a reward from one of the partners like a discount on dinner, popcorn for the movie or a drink. The other option is to support projects on the network. This makes sure that the users of the network decide what projects are taking advante of their resources.

  • Step 3


    The partners who provide the rewards are having a high interest in creating quality social spaces and distraction-free zones. Moreover, they are part of a community supporting interaction and distribution.


I was honoured to exhibit my project at Maker Faire 2019. The installation included the prototype farm station, an interactive light installation and the voting system with for topics to choose: Education for rural regions, optimizing the infrastructure, search for extraterrestrial life or Michael Jacksons comeback.

I also wanted to thank Atlas of the Future to list my project in their portfolio.

Desired future in 2050

In 2050, phones will be a relic of the past. We are in a post screen period. Devices are more integrated into our bodies and clothes. This makes it even more difficult to escape from attention-catching influences. But one thing changed. We are aware of this. We are aware that we have to operate a switch that is integrated into every application and device to change its purpose. We actively decide if we want to be distracted or if we want to channel the power of the gear into another direction. Phone Farm (ing) was only the kick-off for this aspiration. ‘switchable by design’ is the approach for devices in 2050.