Have you ever been out to dinner with someone – friend, date, sibling, spouse – who just will not turn their cell phone off? You watch them staring at it, fully distracted, as they feign interest in what you’re saying, eating or doing. So rude, but so the way of our over-connected world!

Well, we think it’s time for the phone obsessed to learn some table manners. That’s where Woman You Should Know Ingrid Zweifel and her ingenious Phonekerchief come in.

While Ingrid’s Phonekerchief may look like your average, unassuming hanky, it has a BIG SECRET… it can render a cell phone, temporarily useless. No incoming calls, no texts, no nothing, for as long as it’s kept wrapped up in what is essentially an innovative, service-blocking phone Snuggie. Really? Really!

By scientific design, Ingrid added electricity conducting silver fibers (55%) into the Phonekerchief’s nylon fabric to give it the power to effectively block incoming calls and texts when a cell phone is tightly wrapped up in it. Her goal: to help change cell phone users’ behavior and bring a little common courtesy back to the dinner (or meeting or breakfast or lunch or…) table.

Phonekerchief_OpenThis is how it all works… when the conductive silver fabric creates an unbroken enclosure around a cell phone (think tight, origami style wrap job without any gaps), it creates a phenomenon that is known in science as a “Faraday Cage”. This means that any external static electrical field, such as a phone signal, will cause the electrical charges within the conductive fabric to redistribute themselves so as to cancel the field’s effects on what is inside. WHOA! SCIENCE IS REALLY, REALLY COOL!

You might be thinking, “But can’t someone just turn their phone off?” Sure, they can, but most people are not and never do. So this is Ingrid’s solution… a pocket square looking phone jammer that gives cell phone users an easy and inexpensive ($15.00) fix for their bad behavior.

The beauty of the Phonekerchief for cell phone addicts is that they don’t need to go cold turkey; they can leave their phone on, even on the table in plain sight, which will spare them from getting the shakes. It just eliminates the temptation to constantly check for phone notifications because the user knows that nothing is going to penetrate the Phonekerchief’s magical, silver force field. Mind over matter.

Ingrid ZweifelAs for the Phonekerchief’s outer flap boasting the message “My Phone Is Off For You”… that’s the real key in Ingrid’s behavior modification movement. It’s visual reassurance to the person across the table from an obsessive cell phone user that they have his or her undivided attention… an advertised gesture of technological courtesy, if you will.

The Phonekerchief is sold exclusively at Uncommon Goods. What a great stocking stuffer for the person who could use a not-so-subtle hint that his or her cell phone etiquette needs a little refining.

Bonus WYSKy Factoid:

We thought it was interesting to note that before design became her passion, Ingrid Zweifel was a professional ballerina who danced with the Houston Ballet. Today, she is one of the four women innovators behind THE WAY WE SEE THE WORLD, a product design consultancy in New York City that believes design is fundamentally a creative response to the evolving challenges of the present. They are passionate about creating happiness through their designs.