We believe you should control technology

instead of technology controlling you

We want you to enjoy life more calmly, joyfully and peacefully. We want you to have more time to focus on what’s meaningful to you.

At Unpluq we design products that deliver benefits to the customer with privacy in mind. We are not storing any of your data – you are not the product.

 

Smartphones were introduced to society a little over ten years ago. The technology is very young and has both very positive and quite negative consequences. 

They have amazing capabilities, from listening to the music you want to listen to at any place, anytime, having all the knowledge of the world in your pocket to being able to navigate unfamiliar cities with a glance at your phone. 

They have amazing capabilities, from listening to the music you want to listen to at any place, anytime, having all the knowledge of the world in your pocket to being able to navigate unfamiliar cities with a glance at your phone. 

However, the attention economy (in which your attention is being mined for profit) has turned out to increase social anxiety, depression and negatively impact sleep quality and quantity. Smartphones have started to take over control, we want to give the control back to you. We want you to regain control over your smartphone usage.

 Smartphones have started to take over control, we want to give the control back to you. We want you to regain control over your smartphone usage.

Our story

It all started at the Delft University of Technology. Tim Smits and Jorn Rigter, the two founders of Unpluq, had trouble concentrating on their studies. “When we had the chance to partake in a course on entrepreneurship, we knew what problem we wanted to tackle – smartphone distraction.”

When starting out on the project, the initial idea was to create a minimalist phone. There were some minimalist phones out there, but we thought they still lacked customizability. All minimalist phones came with pre-installed applications which you couldn’t change. The way everyone uses their phone is very different, and we wanted to reflect this in the minimalist phone as well.

 

However, producing hardware is difficult. Creating a minimalist phone would take us four to five years at least, and even that might be optimistic. So we started thinking about ways in which we could transform everyone’s smartphone into a minimalist phone. This is how the idea of using physical input to the phone to switch to a focus mode was born. After some tweaking and lots of design considerations, the decision fell on using the USB-C port of the phone.

 

However, producing hardware is difficult. Creating a minimalist phone would take us four to five years at least, and even that might be optimistic. So we started thinking about ways in which we could transform everyone’s smartphone into a minimalist phone. This is how the idea of using physical input to the phone to switch to a focus mode was born. After some tweaking and lots of design considerations, the decision fell on using the USB-C port of the phone.

 

In February 2020, Unpluq launched on Kickstarter, with a goal of €10.000. It was a very thrilling and exciting time. We eventually made the goal, and could start the production of the Unpluq key. We started refining the hardware design and started working extensively on the Unpluq launcher. Finally, in October 2020, the first Unpluq keys were shipped to our first believers: the Kickstarter backers. We will be forever grateful for their contributions.

The Unpluq Team

We are a team of engineers and creatives working from Delft, The Netherlands.  

Using our smartphone less is something we strive for, but also struggle with. During our studies at the Delft University of Technology, we were often so distracted that we didn’t get half the work done that we wanted to do. Smartphones also took a big toll on our mental wellbeing. We saw this problem all around us. That’s why we started working on a solution.  

By getting rid of digital distractions, we want to enable people to focus on the important things in life. We want you to be able to spend your time in the way that’s most meaningful to you.

 

Jorn Rigter

Jorn Rigter

Product design & Software

Co-founder

Tim Smits

Tim Smits

Product design & Hardware

Co-founder

Nian Wetsteijn

Nian Wetsteijn

Marketing & Sales

Bob van der Linden

Bob van der Linden

Business & Sales

Niels Weggemans

Niels Weggemans

Graduate student in Strategic design

Venkatesh Chandrasekar

Venkatesh Chandrasekar

Business Advisor

Julian Jagtenberg

Julian Jagtenberg

Business & Marketing Advisor

Unpluq Hall of Fame

Thanks to all the 263 kickstarter backers!

Ferdinand, Lisi, Nikolaus, Eddy, Colin, Charlotte, !ianus, Nyckle, Daniel, Sarb, Renee, Eric, Lyssa, florence, Christina, Nicola, Jasmin, Ferdinand, Elisabeth, Sarbroop, Eric, Lyssa, florence, Christina, Nicola, Jasmin, Vasiliki, Vojtěch, Leo, Jackie, Nikolaus, Gernot, Marcel, Andreas, Dr., Maximilian, Nils, Bjoern, Ahmet, Fernando, Luis, G.T., Naomi, Marie-Emmanuelle, Richard, Bregje, Jonathan, Trudie, James, Itai, Elissa, Marguerite, Wim, Tamaska, TG, Alessandro, Andrea, Akinori, Noboru, Ges, Eric, Friso, StaffMember, Tanja, Edwin, Florian, Wouter, Erwin, Gert-Jan, Tessa, Nico, Yvonne, Manous, Thomas, Wouter-Jan, Sander, Charlotte, Gianmarco, Boyan, Casper, Maarten, jeroen, Lute, Mark, Rob, Edwin, Charles, JH, Wijnand, Erik, Chiel, Pauline, Stefan, Robin, Daan, wieske, Suzanne, Martijn, Henk, Muriel, François, Lotte, Boaz, David, Timo, Eline, Jasmijn, Matthijs, Eddy, Roos, Anne, Niek, Patrick, Sara, RH, Simon, Rosalie, Annette, Colin, Anuschka, Naomi, Fiona, Daniël, Johan, Robin, G., Wouter, Roan, Martijn, Tom, Laura, Jelmer, Melina, Charlotte, Daan, Ianus, Julian, Nyckle, J., Daniel, Jan-Willem, Joren, Tijmen, Beer, Wouter, Carel, Nils, Paulien, Erwin, J.R., audrey, Michael, Ruben, Renee, Jeroen, A.E., Age, Denise, H.J., Melanie, Yaika, Martijn, Yolande, Jochem, Deborah, Jeroen, Danny, Paul, Chris, Daniel, Sander, Max, Coert, Edwin, G, Nils, Job, Helene, Peter, Maurits, Suzanne, Gioia, Abel-John, Jefta, Veronika, Myra, Felix, RR, Reinold, Anouk, Solva, Daniel, Martijn, Saskia, Camiel, B.W.M., HJ, Iman, Joeri, Michiel, Light, luis, Bruno, Gijs, Jacob, Andrue, Colin, justin, Tammy, Camille, Mikinley, Julie, Alexandra, Ryan, Cooper, Lachlan, Kordale, Corina, Shmaya, LOGAN, Michael, Brian, James, Elizabeth, Jessica, Joshua, Ruth, Shawn, Christine, Seth, Michael, Vashir, Matthijs, Stijn, Benedetta, Ilya, Laurens, Lotte , Irina, Ishit, Koen, Maikel, Gijs, Ester, Nissa, Senada, Vino, Ad, Florien, Carlos, Rob, Silvia, Tirza, Ton, Yvonne, Benjamin, Jan Maarten, Aron, Caro, Iek, Wimmie, Anne

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