NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A startup company has created a pouch to lock people’s cellphones in for “no phone zones.”
CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported comedian Dave Chappelle is backing the pouch made by Yondr.
“We’ve had a strict no cellphone rule for years. Obviously, if you look on YouTube, you’ll see very few people adhere to it,” Chappelle said.
Now, when people want to attend Chappelle’s stand-up shows, everyone must place their phone in one of Yondr’s bags.
The pouch looks like a security tag in a clothing store. Once the phone is placed inside the pouch, it is then locked. If people need to access their phones, they can choose to leave the phone-free zone.
Before the bags, Chappelle found himself telling jokes to people distracted by their devices.
“It would be very hard for you to talk to anybody if he was doing this the whole time you’re talking,” Chappelle said. “People actually watch the show and they’re in the moment and they’re vastly more fun to speak to.”
Yondr founder Graham Dugoni wants to break cellphone addiction and hopes to see the bags used in areas that seat as many as 20,000.
“You know, after the first five minutes of kind of twitchy hands and looking for their phone, people seem to forget about it and slip into that kind of natural mode of interaction,” Dugoni said.
People’s reactions were mixed to the pouch.
“I think you need to pay attention to what you’re watching,” one person said.
Another said, “Part of the reason why people use their cellphones, especially on shows, is to share that moment with other people.”
Several school systems in a few states use Yondr, so as students enter a classroom, they must put the phone in a pouch.
There are different models where some can actually block a cell signal so that it won’t ring.