Books & Music

Yondr Keeps Your Cellphone Locked Up At Concerts

No texting, taking photos or checking Facebook — this device turns any venue into a phone-free zone! What do you think of the idea?

The next time you buy tickets to a show, you may have to enjoy it the same way your parents and grandparents did  and by that we mean you actually have to watch it!

That’s because a startup company has created a device that locks up cellphones during concerts, performances and comedy shows. No tweeting, no Snapchat and no hashtags.

A Device To Lock Up Devices

Yondr’s goal is to create an escape from what it calls a hyperconnected world by using little gray pouches that resemble cellphone cases. When you enter a phone-free area — whether that be at a concert, show or event space — you place your phone into the provided case, which automatically locks when closed. 

Are you already reaching for your phone thinking, “I’ll never let go?”

Yondr

According to Yondr, you carry your phone with you at all times, you just can’t access it. The case will only open at the end of the night using a Yondr unlocking gadget. Then, you can catch up on all of the text messages you missed!

The founder of Yondr, Graham Dugoni, says the cellphone and social media patterns in society need a bit of a reboot.

“In our hyperconnected, atomized modern society, stepping into a phone-free space provides the foundation for sustained attention, dialog and freedom of expression,” Dugoni told the magazine Wired.

Phone-free spaces aren’t only for entertainment venues. Yondr cases have also been used in hospitals and rehab centers. The service is even offered to schools.

Artists For And Against Cellphones At Shows

Yondr claims phone-free zones at concerts are just more fun. Many artists seem to be taking their side. Songstress Alicia Keys is one artist who has already tapped into Yondr and what it has to offer.

Alicia Keys Celebrates Upcoming New Album 'HERE' With Special Show in Times Square
Getty Images | Gary Gershoff

Adele has been caught on camera calling out fans to stop recording and just enjoy the show.

She has a point. An Adele concert is sort of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Jack White is one more artist already trying out Yondr. Plans are to use the pouches for his summer tour. White has reportedly discouraged fans from using cellphones at his concerts for years.

jack white photo
Getty Images | Paul Zimmerman

Comedian Dave Chappelle also asks his audiences to take a break.

Chappelle explained to PBS, “Well, I used to make requests of the audience, could you not use your phone during the show? And they can’t honor the request.”

Chappelle went on to say, “Oftentimes, they cannot. Grown, responsible, disciplined adults have a hard time watching a comedy show without the distraction of their phone.”

dave chappelle photo
Getty Images | Eugene Gologursky

Singer and songwriter John Mayer sees the advantages of smartphones and mostly allows them at his concerts. Mayer says the devices are a marketing tool and help get the word out about his music.

john mayor photo
Getty Images | Ethan Miller

Making Memories

It is possible that by focusing on your phone, you’re missing out on what’s happening right in front of you. Research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found media use could impair your memory of that particular experience.

Use of phones or social media might not make your experience any worse — but what you remember may be slightly altered. If this is true, what we all need to decide is what’s more important — the memories themselves, or the memories that get posted to Facebook.

Dugoni tells Wired he wants to un-change the world and go back to a time before cellphones weren’t “everything.” Do you think that’s possible?