The app that helps you put down your device

Smartphones are amazing. They’re convenient, hyperconnected, and put an insane amount of information and entertainment right at our fingertips. But the rising epidemic of people ignoring each other — and basic safety, and common sense — inspired us to rise up and do our little part in the only way we know how. The fun way.

A noble quest

We wanted to create something that would help people honor their quality time with friends, family, and significant others by not being Digital Douchebags™. Studies show that nine out of ten people check their phones while they’re with friends or family. Not cool.

A sporting proposition

Encouraging this socially positive behavior would require something that people might actually enjoy doing. Otherwise it would just be lame fingerwagging. So we looked inward to our own wellsprings of interpersonal joy — smacktalk, friendly rivalries, and personal wagering — for inspiration. And with our experience in gamifying the mundane, that seemed like a great space to play (see what we did there?).

MOB screens

Gamification rehumanification

We came up with MOB, a social game for real-life social situations. Players simply open the app, create a session with an agreed time length and “penalty” (ex: “Pay the tab”), and then simply — gloriously — put down their phones. The first loser to cave in and touch their phone pays the penalty (actual and verbal), and if everyone makes it, voilà. Better quality time achieved.

The end game

We designed, coded, and developed the app ourselves, and put it on the iTunes store for free. It has been been our most successful native app release, and garnered some nice press in DigiDay, Phone Cruncher, and other industry and cultural press. More importantly, we hope it’s out there encrouraging users to prioritize people over pings, pixels, or Pokémon.

MOB  hero

"Be the change you want to see

in the world — in a non-dickish way if possible."


World Leader

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