Innovation That Matters

Device disabling pouches urges audience to enjoy the show

Work & Lifestyle

Yondr are smartphone-locking pouches, which enable artists — including Dave Chappelle — and venues to create phone-free environments during performances.


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For comedians and other performers, the proliferation of smartphones in their live audience is no doubt becoming a seemingly unavoidable annoyance. On top of easily distracted patrons, the glow of the screens can disrupt the show and unpolished live videos inevitably find their way onto YouTube. Offering a solution is Yondr, a San Francisco-based startup that produces smartphone-locking pouches, which enable artists and venues to create phone-free environments, preventing audience members from accessing their devices during performances.


Yondr’s technology is already leased out to schools and theaters. The setup enables visitors to keep hold of their phones, but prevents them from taking devices out of cases that auto-lock within a given area. Now the startup has partnered with comedian Dave Chappelle, and the pouches will be handed out to audience members at his upcoming shows. Comedians have long struggled with the smartphone dilemma: requests to refrain from device use often fall on deaf ears, and mandatory smartphone storage can lead to long queues and encourage theft.

Where else could this tech be used?



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