Just four data points from a location-tracking cellphone were enough to reveal the identities of 95 percent of people in a recent study. Is that a problem for you? This new Kickstarter campaign offers a solution: a signal-proof phone case called Off Pocket.
Off Pocket, created by Brooklyn-based technologist Adam Harvey and fashion designer Johanna Bloomfield, blocks your phone's cellular, Wi-Fi, and GPS signals.
Why not just turn the phone off? What appears to be "off" on a phone might not be a pure off state. As Electronic Frontier Foundation technologist Seth Schoen explained to The New York Times, "These modes often allow the device to wake up autonomously if certain conditions are met, such as pressing a certain key or even receiving certain data over the Internet on a wired Ethernet connection." Spooky.
The Off Pocket prevents this because it is essentially an electric field-blocking Faraday cage. Often used to protect electrical equipment from lightning strikes, Faraday cages are an enclosure of metal or metal mesh. Besides guarding against lightning, Faraday cages also block the radio waves that cellphones use to communicate. A weak Faraday cage can be formed using an empty soup can and a piece of aluminum foil. (In a pinch, cocktail shakers also make a decent Faraday cages, but they're hard to carry around in a pocket.)
Off Pocket isn't the only attempt to convert the signal-blocking utility of a Faraday cage into a phone accessory. The aptly-named Faraday Bag line of accessories by British data recovery company Disklabs includes pouches to shield cell phones from signals, as well as laptop-sized options. Though now discontinued, "My Phone Is Off For You" was a commercially available handkerchief sewn with silver fibers. The handkerchief designers now sell a signal-blocking pouch called Blokket, which is available from the Museum of Modern Art's online store.
You can pre-order the Off Pocket pouch via Kickstarter for $75.
Here's a video from the creators of Off Pocket:
YES! - Now I can upgrade from my 5 year old flip-phone to a smart phone!!
ok - heres a problem. this stupid case, is going to effectively cut your phone off from the network.
when you take your phone out of the pouch, you're going to have to wait for it to get a signal and then download the msgs.
so you pull it out, and then have to wait 2- 3 minutes, while it updates your in-box.
Also, as you're waiting for that to happen, or when you're making your next call. you GPS will activate, your wi-fi will activate. so i dont really see the point.
if your that paranoid about being tracked, either turn off your cell & take out the battery or just stick with that archaic HOME PHONE ... :o
Really, only an idiot would buy this product.
... well unless you're a guy who carries it in your front jean pocket, and don't want your nads expodes to cell phone rads. ... but, thats the only excuse!
From what I recall, Faraday cages prevent electro-magnetic signals from entering, but not from exiting.
Granted, the protocol for connecting to a cell tower probably requires signals both ways. But it seems the pouch does not make your cellphone invisible (it would still broadcast signal).
"A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure formed by conducting material or by a mesh of such material. Such an enclosure blocks external static and non-static electric fields. Faraday cages are named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836."
seems, it wont be getting any signal.
Dumky: Your information is wrong. Think about it this way: What is the difference between entering and exiting? There isn't one. As long as the holes in the material are smaller than the wavelength of the light, it will prevent the light from passing through.
It's somewhat like having a wave in water come up to a wall you have built. If any holes in the wall are smaller than the size of the water molecules, the water can leak through. If not, nothing will pass through in either direction. ( Note: Very rough analogy, but should serve the purpose. )
TRF: There's a side effect that is much worse than that. When a cellphone is having a hard time acquiring signal, it cranks up the power. So, stick your phone in this pouch, and kiss your battery life goodbye. Just ask anyone in poor signal areas that leave the various radios for their phone on how their battery life is. Time and again on various phone forums I see people complain about 6 hour battery life without using their phone...then find that they are in a place with very poor signal. This goes both ways.
Solution? Simple. Turn off any radios in question. Specifically, turn on airplane mode.
However: You should be aware that if you are worried about someone tracking your cell phone, you might as well get rid of it. The "coarse location" on phones is found by triangulation of cell towers. This means ANY time you use your cellphone, you will be trackable. This pouch will not save you.
I love how everyone here thinks that wanting complete "no signal" phone privacy is a weird thing. Lol. It takes 2 seconds to update any missed msgs or emails. Your phone certainly doesn't make it known to you that your phone can be accessed even after you turn it off. That should be enough to warrant this device alone. Going to see that mistress? Don't let the cell towers pickup your signal or that court subpoena might just bust you when your wifes attorney gets the cell tower data dumped and uses it as evidence that you were in the vicinity of said mistress.
"Do not try and bend the spoon. That is impossible. Only try and realize the truth - there is no spoon."
@zechio: Took the words right out of my mouth.
That bag will drain your battery faster than streaming a HD movie on max brightness. If you dont want to be tracked, turn on airplane mode. that will save your battery a ton as well. I know my Galaxy Nexus has it as shortcut by holding the power button down. iphone's is easy as well. Settings > wireless. Done. Use it. Spread the word!
that is just BS.
The minute you turn on the phone, they will connect the dots and track all your movement and activity even while the phone was OFF. There is no hiding.
This seems like a good idea, but there are a number of existing products out there already that seem to fill this need. Like signalarmor.com And they are quite a bit cheaper.
The idea makes some sense.... except there is this little free feature called AIRPLANE MODE 0.o
I don't understand why some are arguing that placing a phone in this bag would quickly drain the battery. Why would you NOT turn the phone off before bagging it?
To ZECHIO regarding: Could There Be A Planet Hidden On The Opposite Side Of Our Sun?
I've watched at least 2 science shows like on the Discovery Channel and Science channel 1 of them had Michio Kaku on it where Michio himself was explaining that if the Sun instantly disappeared the Earth and all the planets would immediately go off course due to the Sun's gravity being absent. However the sunlight would still shine for 8 minutes (due to the speed of light). Most info I've read on the net seems to compliment what you said in your post. But, I have seen some info that states Gravity propagates instantly. I've also read that scientist don't know for certain and need to do more testing. To me it seems like it should have been tested already. You would just need to calculate how long it takes for tides to be affected. Which is another thing I read I believe the tides react faster than light to the Moon also. Measurements of the gravitational effect of Jupiter on smaller bodies should answer it as well. I wish the info was more definitive.
D49, don't be too reasonable. you may lose a few. i like this product; i don't like the price. eek!