Date
26 September 2017
Libern Lin is shown with fellow students Fang Ling Qing and Yap Jian Le after winning an award for their Apple Tree app. Photo: Singapore Straits Times
Libern Lin is shown with fellow students Fang Ling Qing and Yap Jian Le after winning an award for their Apple Tree app. Photo: Singapore Straits Times

What’s not to love about this anti-smartphone app?

Now, if only there was a way to bring back the good old days of face-to-face contact.

The prospect looks increasingly remote in this age of smartphones and tablets but apparently not to three young Singapore students.

They have invented the ultimate anti-smartphone app called Apple Tree. And if things proceed as planned, we may need our smartphones and tablets for other uses.

The app works by immobilising users’ phones when two or more friends put their handsets together. If a phone remains untouched, an apple tree begins to grow on the screen, furnishing the user with digital fruit.

Those apples provide the incentive behind the app, as they can be “harvested” and exchanged for rewards, according to Channel News Asia.

The longer the phone is ignored in favour of human contact, the more bountiful the apple harvest.

The group entered the app in the annual Splash Awards, where the theme was “Bringing Singaporeans Closer Together”.

One of the students, Libern Lin, said the idea came after his friends suggested putting all their smartphones in one place when they socialised.

It proved to be a lucrative suggestion. The group has been awarded S$30,000 (US$24,000) to develop the app in time for March 2015 when it will be released for free as part of Singapore’s 50th birthday celebrations.

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