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Indonesians Create Device to Fight Phone Addiction

Pictured is Nettox, a wristband device invented by Indonesian students to alert people about the time they spent being sedentary, October 16, 2019.
Indonesians Create Device to Fight Phone Addiction
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Indonesian university student Tyas Sisianindita spends about eight hours a day on her phone. That time includes watching videos, chatting with friends and using social media.

“I realize that I am addicted,” she said, noting she checks her phone countless times from morning until night. She even checks it while in class.

“At night, when I can’t sleep, I can use my phone for up to five hours," she said.

Tyas goes to the University of Indonesia, where a team of students recently developed a device meant to fight phone addiction.

The students spent three months creating the device, which can help internet users like Tyas decrease time they spend looking at their phones.

Inventor Irfan Budi Satria led the development team.

The device is called “Nettox,” which combines the words “internet” and “detox.” Users wear it on their arm. The device has a sensor that measures hemoglobin oxygen levels and changes to the heart rate called HRV.

Studies have found that using a mobile phone for long hours can lower HRV levels. The Nettox device makes a sound when HRV and blood oxygen levels fall, which reminds wearers to stop using their phones.

For people between the ages of 18 and 25, the HRV should stay above 60. That information comes from the American Psychological Association.

At a recent trial, Tyas’s HRV reading was 44.

Internet addiction is a growing social issue in Indonesia. In October, two teenagers were treated for their addiction to internet gaming, media reported.

Irfan Budi Satria's team is working to improve Nettox’s accuracy. HRV readings can change depending on if the user is a man or woman, and what their body shape and health conditions are.

The team aims to get a patent for their invention with the university by next year.

Irfan says Nettox is for people already trying to change their behavior.

“Our goal is to help…people who want to free themselves from internet addiction," he said.

I’m Alice Bryant.

Reuters news agency reported this story. Alice Bryant adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

addicted - adj. unable to stop doing something that is harmful

detox - n. special treatment that helps a person to stop an addiction

hemoglobin - n. he part of blood that contains iron, carries oxygen through the body, and gives blood its red color

accuracy - n. the state of being without mistakes or errors

patent - n. an official document that gives a person or company the right to be the only one that makes or sells a product for a period of time