Hollerings | Digital & IT

Special Projects: Improving your well-being with innovative technology

Special Projects Feature Image

Having a smart phone has been shown to dramatically affect personal well-being but remains a form of technology that we just can’t give up. Whether it’s as a constant distraction, an endless stream of comparison through social media or an information overload, we are all stuck to our smart phones for the ease of communication they provide.

So how do we get the balance right? It’s time to use technology to improve technology!

Special Projects is a London based design and invention consultancy that has been built on using technology, innovation and a little bit of magic to improve our life and well-being. The co-founders Clara Westaway and Adrian Westaway started the consultancy in order to create innovative technology solutions that improve our well-being.

The consultancy has partnered up with some huge organisations such as BBC, Google, Innovate UK, Samsung and Cancer Research UK in the past as well as creating their own inventions. 

One of Special Projects’ focus areas is smart phone use, especially harnessing the power of a smart phone whilst reducing the extra output that can reduce our well-being. Take a look at these three innovations:


The Envelope invention was created in collaboration with Google’s Pixel 3a smartphone and transforms your phone into a simpler device with drastically reduced functionality. The aim of this project was to reduce the amount of distractions that your phone can create while still allowing you to use it for a key purpose, and so improving the balance with our well-being and use of technology. 

There are two options of envelopes, one which lets you answer and make calls and another which allows you to take photos without seeing the final result. Of course, these traits only work whilst your phone is in the envelope and as soon as you take it out it’s back to normal.

If you have a Google Pixel 3a and want to try out Special Project’s Envelope invention, then you can learn more about it here, try the app here, and download the code here.

You can also find more information about the invention through this Experiments with Google article

Magic UX

Magic UX is a new smartphone interface that was designed to create smoother transitions between apps when trying to complete tasks on a phone, and therefore make the process smoother and less stressful. This invention was inspired by the real world and uses the exact space you are in through augmented reality.

The interface allows you to pin apps to a physical space in your current setting, then when you move your phone to focus over this area the relevant app will appear. You can copy and paste information between apps at different pinned spaces, simply holding the information and moving across to the relevant pin.

Paper Phone

The Paper Phone application helps anyone looking for a digital detox without the feeling of being completely in the dark and without all their information. This app allows you to meet yourself in the middle, selecting the key information that you will need throughout the day, and printing it off. Each day you can print a new, custom built phone, ensuring that the more helpful information such as maps or telephone numbers are with you at all times.

The Paper Phone invention is in collaboration with Experiments with Google as part of their Digital Wellbeing Experiments collection. 

You can find more information about it here.

Written by: Rosie Bancroft

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Our hollerings monthly roundup delivered directly to your inbox

Our monthly hollerings roundup delivered directly to your inbox