Engineers come up with jokey Kickstarter campaign to let you put smartphone notches on anything

Photo: Notch via Kickstarter
Photo: Notch via Kickstarter

Google, we love you but you’re bringing us down with that hideously massive notch on your new Pixel 3 flagships. In fact, our stance on smartphone display notches have always been “ugh, no” since Apple’s iPhone X last year made it mainstream — an inelegant design solution to include front-facing cameras and sensors for a near bezel-less screen.

Thus it was with horror that multiple other Android phones that emerged after the iPhone X started following suit, essentially cementing the tragic fact that notches are the way to go from now on. The nail in the coffin arrived earlier this week when Google — who once relished in making fun of iPhones — confirmed that their new Pixel 3 XL will have a notch and an unsubtle one at that. Sure, we could go deep into the developer settings and toggle a black bar to hide the notch, but that takes up precious screen space. Truly, we live in a notched world, and what a dark timeline it is.

Photo: PC World
Photo: PC World

Singaporean software engineer Charles Wong took one look at the prevailing smartphone trend and decided that things could be turned up a notch (heh heh). Behold the Notch, a humorous take on the state of today’s tech industry that literally allows a notch to be installed anywhere — be it your phone, laptop, book, door, or pet.

What started as a joke among friends turned into something tangible a month later. Wong and fellow engineer Aditya launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter that could allow everyone to embrace the notch life.

Really though, it’s just a sticker.

“The notch was a controversial design element on the original iPhone X. There was no going about it — it was a flaw,” Wong told Coconuts Singapore, joking about how he worked hard on his Jony Ive (Apple’s much-memed Chief Design Officer) impression. “The strange thing was that instead of rejecting it, the rest of the mobile industry began to adopt it on the rest of their devices!”

“As engineers, we felt the notch represented the ridiculousness of the tech industry today, and we wanted to poke fun at the whole thing,” he went on.

“What better way than to sell something inherently silly?”

Photo: Notch via Kickstarter
Photo: Notch via Kickstarter

A sticker that replicates display notches are certainly silly (as silly as actual smartphone notches, really), and Wong is certainly making a huge, hilarious statement with the campaign. Folks can pledge from $2 to as much as over $200, with each tier offering rewards such as high-res image files of their notch and packs of stickers that come in two “beautifully judged flavors”: colossal and classic.

Photo: Notch via Kickstarter
Photo: Notch via Kickstarter

“Think of Notch as a tongue-in-cheek jab at the ridiculous state of consumer technology and branding today. If you love avocado toast served with a side of dank memes, this is definitely for you,” wrote the campaign co-founders on Kickstarter.

When queried, Wong assured that they are fully committed to fulfilling the rewards they offered as long as the funding goal is met. As of writing, the campaign has reached $378 out of the $500 goal, so we could very well get started on pasting notch stickers across town soon.

“Least we can do is deliver the punchline,” he declared.

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