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If you've found yourself using your smartphone in such a scenario, an Austrian designer known as Klemens Schillinger might have a product to help you break that habit. They are arranged in various ways for each design corresponding to different impulses: scrolling, pinching to zoom, or swiping.

The item is not exactly a phone and has the same objective as fidget spinners and cubes-keeping the hands occupied, except that it is created to look and feel like a smartphone.

The Substitute Phone is supposed to help those overly attached to their phones to "stop this "checking" behavior", Schillinger told Dezeen. Users simply swipe their fingers across the marble-like beads the same way they would on a smartphone screen.

"Daniel Kruger, a research scientist at the University of MI, said: "[Our] study provides some real insight and maybe some evidence that people can have a real dependency on cell phone use".

He refers to his designs as functional prosthetics to help smartphone addicts get cured of "withdrawal symptoms" from using a smartphone.

The Substitute phones aren't yet available, but Schillinger's site says they're "coming soon".

Created this "trinket" on the principle of the so-called replacement therapy and is called the Substitute Phone.

Many of us will have experienced habitual smartphone usage; operating our devices, not in the service of a specific, legitimate need, but simply because it's there.

In addition to drawing inspiration from his own experience, Schillinger admitted to Dezeen that he was also enticed by Umberto Eco's description of his method to quit smoking: instead of holding a pipe, he would bring a wooden stick to his mouth to fool himself into "smoking" with just the motion. "I remembered this and thought to make phones that would provide the physical stimulation but not the connectivity", said Schillinger. The first of these projects is Offline Lamp, which will only turn on when you put a smartphone-size object inside its drawer.

The negative effects of smartphones and smartphone apps have become a growing concern among many in the tech world.