The Delay Experiment

Mobile phones are awesome. They allow us to do amazing things where ever we are. We can look up information, socialise with friends, and play games. At the same time more and more people are considering whether they use their phones too much, or in the wrong situations. But what can you do about it? We are currently doing a research project where we are investigating how we can become more aware of our phone use, as well as influence it. And we need your help!

Download the app on Google Play Store

Android Delay App

We have developed an app that shows a screen each time you unlock your Android phone. In doing so, there is a subtle delay before the phone becomes available for use. This serves two functions: firstly, it becomes a reminder that you are now using your phone; and secondly, it allows us to see how varying this delay affects your phone use.

The Experiment

You install the app on your mobile phone, and use the phone as normal. Each time you unlock the phone, you are presented with a screen saying ‘Please wait’. Over time, the app will vary the duration that this screen is shown. By varying this duration, we aim to investigate whether phone use behaviour can be influenced by this delay. The app records when you unlock and lock your phone and sends this anonymously to our servers for analysis.


So what kind of data do we collect from you? When you unlock your device and lock it again, the time spent while unlocked is recorded and periodically sent to our servers. The data is sent anonymously, so we do not know who you are. In this project we are interested in whether or not we can detect any changes in behaviour because of the added delay and your true identity is therefore not important. We will however collect information about the type of device, version of android, and the timezone you are in. If you at any point have any problems with this, then please uninstall the app.

About Us

The project is carried out as a summer student project by Ivaylo Lafchiev under the supervision of Dr Mattias Rost at the University of Glasgow. If you have any questions contact Ivaylo ( or Mattias (,