Last December, fans attending a series of Chicago shows by comedian Dave Chapelle’s were handed small fabric pouches from a company called Yondr. When entering the designated phone-free zone, each concertgoer put their phone into the pouch, which was locked for the duration of the show. Anyone needing to use their phone had only to go through the phone-free zone check in point and the pouch was unlocked.
Yondr is just one name in the new field of gadget and software providers stopping people texting or taking pictures during shows, and concerts are one of the new frontiers of discussion about the acceptability of mobile phone use.
Stories about the selfish or unthinking using phones disruptively are themselves becoming cliché. Not only do tiny screens flash on all over the cinema as soon as the credits roll, it’s not uncommon to see several patrons texting or checking Facebook in the middle of the movie.
Now, as concerns about piracy only increase, tools and techniques to block mobile phones are becoming more widespread.
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