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Wearable Device to Curbing Internet Addiction in Indonesia

Indonesia Nettox Device
Photo Credit: The Jakarta Post/Medina Rahma Putri

An Indonesian university student had admitted to spending about eight hours a day on her phone doing several things, from browsing social media to watching videos and chatting with friends.

According to a recent report, a group of students at the University of Indonesia had spent three months developing a wearable device that can help internet users cut down on the time they spend flicking at their phones.

Background of the Study

The team’s research reportedly found that people who exhibit high rates of internet usage have low heart rate variability (HRV) while physically active people have high HRV.

This may be due to the fact that people addicted to the internet have a tendency to sit or lay around all day playing mobile games or scrolling through social media feeds.

Internet addiction is a growing social issue in Indonesia. Children must be taught to be more active and take part in extracurricular activities.


  • The device, which is called “Nettox” from “internet detox”, is worn on the wrist and contains a pulse oximeter sensor the measures haemoglobin oxygen levels and heart rate variability (HRV).
  • The team is working on personalising Nettox and improving its accuracy as HRV readings can vary depending on a person’s body shape, gender and health conditions.
  • The team noted that addiction was not solely defined by physical indicators such as HRV.
  • There are also psychological indicators that require further assessment. Hence, personalised psychological questionnaires are also available on the Nettox application.
  • The device is targeted for those already invested in changing their behaviour as their goal is to help the health conscious. It will help people who want to free themselves from internet addiction.
  • The prototype of the Nettox smartwatch, which does not look as ergonomic as the team had hoped, uses a pulse oximeter sensor to gather data on the user’s health by scanning their heart beat and oxygen saturation level.
  • The data is then sent to the mobile application for further analysis. The application also provides initial assessments of the user based on psychological questionnaires and initial health reports.
  • If the smartwatch detects a slight anomaly, it emits a sound notification. However, if anomalies become increasingly significant, the device emits both sound and vibration notifications.

Future Plans

There are still a lot to be discovered about the Internet and it is possible that there are plenty of undiscovered effects.

The team hopes new discoveries can be made through the continued development of a more ergonomic smartwatch.

They aim to apply for a patent for their invention with the university by next year.


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