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This new product called the Phonekerchief is meant to be wrapped around your phone during a romantic dinner to show your respect for your dining partner. $15 at Uncommon Goods starting Nov. 25:

We may be sitting at the same table, but we are not together: a common condition of our over-wired world. It is time to question what truly nurtures the human spirit. The Phonekerchief is a polite way of encouraging others to turn off their phones and helps jump start new etiquette for our digital world. The Phonekerchief is made of a smart material that blocks phone signals and can be worn in any pocket as a symbol of this movement.

OK, I’ll agree wrapping your phone in a cloth more concretely symbolizes your dedication to in-person conversation than, say, putting your phone on silent or airplane modes. The down side is that when your phone isn’t receiving signal (on the subway, in an elevator, or in a Phonekerchief), it boosts its output to try to reach a repeater, which drains your battery faster. LessEMF carries fabrics that shield EMF in the cell phone (800-2500 Mhz band) range in case you want to make your own Faraday hanky.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern is director of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site:

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