Ditto: Someone Reinvented the Pager

I’m kidding, but not by much. Ditto is a small, oval device that vibrates if you have a missed call, email or if you’re about to leave your phone behind. Hmmm, a device that vibrates whenever you get a call. Isn’t that? Wait a second.

I think of Ditto as the pager’s sleeker, Millennial sister. The device is non-descript and can be clipped inside pockets or even under clothes. The idea behind the invention is that people need to be more hands-free. Instead of checking your phone every 10 minutes, you can rely on Ditto’s customizable vibrations to tell you if you’ve gotten a new email or text or, with the tether feature, if you’re about to walk away from your phone.

While the idea is a noble one, whether or not Ditto will actually be used is doubtful. I think people who buy this will think they’ll be less tech-dependent, but they’ll still keep their noses to the screen with or without a Ditto clipped onto their lapels. Also, Ditto doesn’t challenge the mind-numbing addiction of phone games which, let’s be real, is half the fun of having a smartphone. That and the various social media sites that we’re connected to and which need to be constantly updated. For regular adventurers, documenting travel through a smartphone’s camera is an invaluable way to keep a travel log or update folks at home.

Ditto also falls flat in the face of popular smartwatches like the Pebble, Motorola Moto 360 or the recently announced Apple Watch. These devices address the social media issue and are also offering programmers ways to create their own watch-specific apps as well. Ditto is going more minimalist, but the smartwatch world is such a new one that more is still more.

What Ditto lacks in variability, it makes up for in its low cost and design. One Ditto is only $30, and the device doesn’t have the glaring and corny backlight of most smartwatches.

For the wild travelers, new emails and texts aren’t going to be a problem in no-service parks. More urban explorers will want to document and update their stories. Overall, the Ditto device is best for people who haven’t been that tethered to their phones. Those who’ve forgone social media, photos, and phone games can use Ditto to remove themselves just a little more from their phone. Of course, that begs the question of why you’d need a device to make yourself more hands-free if you’re already pretty hands-free to begin with. But to each her own.