A traditional table setting consists of plates, cups, and utensils, but in the modern era many people feel like they need their smartphone on the table too. Especially with more people working from home these days, there’s a pressure to be constantly available to answer phone calls and text messages, meaning many of us are having our meals with phone out and screen facing up, if not outright clutched in one hand as we eat with the other.
But what if there was a plate that forced you to stow your phone while you eat? That was the idea behind this unusual piece of tableware.
Commissioned by the Japanese arm of the Norway Fishery Council, it’s called the balance plate. Influenced by classical Japanese aesthetics, the balance plate’s most distinct characteristic is that the tray-like plate comes with only one leg, meaning that if you try to use it as-is, all your food will slide right off.
Instead, you’re supposed to slide your smartphone into a slot on the underside to act as the second leg, forcing you to not only put your phone down, but not touch it again until you’re done eating.
The council came up with the idea for the balance plate after conducting a survey in Japan in which over 75 percent of the respondents said they have trouble relaxing and concentrating on their food during meals, with more than one in three feeling stressed over the messages that come in while they’re trying to eat.
The clever creation isn’t being offered for direct sale, but they will be giving away 10 to 30 balance plates to Instagram users who follow its official account (found here) and post a photo of a dish they made using mackerel (saba in Japanese) with the hashtag #SABA BREAK between now and Dec 8.
Sources: Norway Fishery Council via IT Media, PR Times
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