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Engauge is a mobile app and interactive phone cover that tracks smartphone use throughout the day with the aim of reducing unintentional and habit-driven interactions.

The Problem Space

Mobile users reach for their phones an average of 150 times a day.
— Kleiner Perkins 2013 Internet Trends report

Do we really need our smartphones every time they end up in our hands? Smartphones provide many benefits like social connection and information, but unintentional or habitual use can distract, interrupt, and separate us from our surroundings. 

Engauge combines a mobile app with an interactive phone cover that together track, and make the user aware of, the quantity of smartphone use sessions they initiate throughout the day. The goal is to limit the habit-driven impulse to check through raising the individual’s awareness around each smartphone interaction. Engaging in only mindful smartphone use that is driven by intent will decrease our daily use count, ensure fulfilling on-phone experiences, and give us back just a little more time each day to raise our sights, notice the people and community around us, or have a minute or two more with the people we love.

Key Features



Be aware of smartphone use BEFORE user is fully engaged with their smartphone.

The phone cover syncs with the app, displaying how many times you’ve swiped open your smartphone so far for the day. The cover also reacts to your actions. When the phone senses motion (like it is being picked up) it turns the side lights on for a ten second period. This is just long enough for you to acknowledge your use count, before you proceed with your smartphone use or decide to wait.

Screen shot 2014-05-13 at 9.12.13 AM.png


Be aware of smartphone use BEFORE user is fully engaged with their smartphone.

The app overlays an incrementing animation onto your smartphone’s lockscreen. It displays when the smartphone is turned on and counts when the lockscreen is swiped opened. Seeing the count increment after every swipe open lets the user acknowledge that every swipe counts.



Visualize smartphone use behavior in detail and provide comparison for understanding.

If you want to better understand your use, the app provides a breakdown of your swipes throughout the day and an overview of your daily counts for the week and past months. It also compares your numbers to the averages of the Engauge community and to your personal goals, if you chose to set one.



Provide support through social motivation and friendly competition.

Set a personal goal for a daily use count to aim for throughout your day. You can also participate in challenges with friends or family who are also using the Engauge app and phone cover. Challenges can be for a day or multiple days among two or more people. It’s based on cumulative overall counts for that period of time. The app requires only one swipe from each participant to set up the challenge or to accept the invitation. From there, it runs off of notifications until the challenge concludes.