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Application Developpment for Smartphone Usage Control by Group Activity

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Prof. Uichin Lee



Smartphone is something that we can’t live without. However, there has been an increasing number of cases where the uncontrolled use of smartphones have been affecting group activities such as meetings and events.  


In order to solve such problem, the research team of Professor Uichin Lee of the department of Knowledge Service Engineering, KAIST(President Dr. Sung-mo Kang) developed an application known as ‘Lock n Lol’ to control smartphone usage.


The two main conditions for overuse of smartphones come from external triggers from notifications and internal use due to habit. Also other activities such as taking a photo, web search and messaging made it difficult to control the rate of smartphone use.


The research team took these issues into consideration and developed an app ‘lock n lol’ that can collaborate and control smartphone usage.


The ‘lock n lol’ application’s main functions are ‘group lock and no alarm’, ‘brief use’, ‘finding close users and notification’.


The group lock and no alarm function is useful for activities such as group study. The members of the group can lock the screen together and putting it in manner mode, which helps the group activity to go smoothly.


The brief use function allows for the brief use of smartphone when it is absolutely necessary. You are allows 5 minutes per hour and extra usage requires the permission of another user.


The finding close users and notification function allows you to search for friends or other users nearby for collaborative and group smartphone usage control. 


Especially, finding close users and notification function can not only utilize the GPS signals but also wifi hot-spot in order to find users and friends nearby for collaborative usage control.


The research team has been conducting ‘lock n lol’ campaign at KAIST for 25 days in May. More than 1000 students have been active during the campaign and contained more than 10,000 hours of smartphone usage. The users stated that the app helped to control smartphone usage during group activity and to concentrate better.


Prof. Lee stated “The upcoming generation of internet of things will create a much larger digital interference to everyday activities such as group activity”, he also states “our research contributes to solving these problems with an engineering solution”.


The research team plans to further research intelligent intervention with context recognition technology and smartphone usage control with family participating services.


This research was funded by the KAIST mobile software platform research center and Microsoft Azure.  



□ Photo Description




Photo 1. Screen shot of Smartphone use control application Lock n Lol



 Photo 2. Accumulated number of users and restrained hours graph





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