- Title: USA: A handkerchief for mobile phones block all cell signals
- Date: 5th February 2013
- Summary: SCREEN EXPLAINING HOW SECOND GENERATION PHONEKERCHIEF 'BLOKKET' WORKS
- Embargoed: 20th February 2013 12:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: General,Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA5TJ31VJ4GGK51A8P81TTZ6M85
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: A product designer in New York is thinking about ways to bring back etiquette into the mobile world we live in today where everybody is constantly checking their phones for updates and information.
On Tuesday (February 05) Ingrid Zweifel (pronounced zwie-fel, as 'rifle') sat down with Reuters to talk about the "Phonekerchief", a product that she developed after seeing how people nowadays never seem to part from their mobile devices.
"So this is a signal blocking phone pocket that helps you turn off distractions in order to be fully engaged with someone or something," the 32-year-old explained.
The Phonekerchief is made out of nylon and silver and blocks all cell signals when a mobile device is tightly wrapped around in it.
Zweifel said that she tried different metals and materials, but decided on silver as she found that it was the most effective in blocking radio frequencies.
"Definitely a lot of research went into this product in terms of the materials and just trying out different things that block cell phone signals and seeing what works best and what doesn't. And it ended up being a silver thread that worked very well," she said.
After launching her first generation Phonekerchief that has to be wrapped around a device in a certain way, Zweifel got feedback that it is difficult to use.
So she came up with an improved design that she calls "Blokket."
Blokket is in the form of a pouch, and has a rubber band attached that comes in four colors.
They are engraved either "My Phone Is Off For You" or "Goodbye Phone. Hello World!"
According to online statistics website statisticbrain.com 76 percent of the people polled said that they are in favor of being constantly connected by technology.
Zweifel does not argue that technology is bad, but thinks that there should be rules on when to turn technology off as a gesture of politeness.
She recalled an incident with a woman that gave her insight.
"I actually talked to a woman who recently gotten on a date with a man who left his phone at home for her. And it was the ultimate gesture," she said.
"And I think I realized at that point how powerful it is to turn your phone off for someone else. It means so much, it means that you are fully engaged with them, you are 100 percent focused, 100 percent there. And I think we're losing that today."
Blokket will be sold at New York's MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) Design stores and online.
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