Developed by a young Frenchman, the Opal application (on iPhone only) allows us to take breaks in our digital lives. The young shoot has just raised funds of 3.5 million euros.
franceinfo: How did you come up with the idea for Opal?
Kenneth Schlenker, creator of Opal : I come from a very small village in the Alps, where I am very lucky to live in peace in the most complete disconnection. At the same time, I discovered technology quite young and had the opportunity to embark on a career in website development. I really appreciate digital technology which allows incredible things.
But technology can also be stressful, sleep loss, and a lot of other things. I always try to maintain a balance between connection and disconnection. It is this quest for balance that led me to create Opal, to help as many people as possible maintain control.
What is Opal?
It’s an app to take back control of your digital life. You install it on your phone and it saves you time, so you can concentrate better and develop a healthier relationship with your screens. It logs out all potentially distracting and time-consuming apps, like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even news apps, until you decide to use them consciously.
This is for everyone, both students and professionals. In short, to all the people who use screens in their professional or personal life.
Isn’t that a bit radical?
Today, billions of euros are invested in the attention economy by Facebook, Google, Instagram or Tweeter. These apps designed to “steal” your attention time are also radical. A French person spends an average of four hours a day on his phone and hours on a computer or other screens. There is a feeling of loss of control and frustration with the time stolen.
So, yes, this is a radical solution, because it takes a radical solution. Not everyone is capable, individually, of fighting engineers who work day and night with enormous means to steal our attention and distract us. This is why I think we need a radical solution.