Ten years after the then fictional invention (in our column in Byte magazine) of the A Brief Cell Phone Jammer, the New York Times reported on November 4, 2007 that the device is now pretty real? and that it’s used by people who like to use it: there seems to be a lot of stuff out there.
Andrew reached into his shirt pocket and pressed a button on a black device the size of a cigarette pack. It sent a strong radio signal that interrupted the imposter cell phone transmission? and everyone else within a 30 foot radius.
She talked into her cell phone for about 30 seconds before realizing that no one on the other end was listening? he said. His reaction when he first discovered he could wield such power? Oh holy Moly! Liberation.?
As cell phone usage has skyrocketed, making it difficult to avoid half a conversation in public places, a small but growing group of rebels is turning to a blunt countermeasure: the cell phone jammer, which knocks out nearby cell phones.
Here is our description written in 1997. The device was called “apoptosis”:
The word “apoptosis” comes from biology: It means “programmed cell death”. What is so wonderful about apoptosis? Just like that: it interrupts any cell phone call within earshot of you.
Apoptosis has an effective range of 15 feet – wide enough to get the job done, narrow enough not to disrupt innocent neighbors’ phone lines.
Apoptosis is small and inconspicuous. It fits on a keychain. It looks like a worry pearl. If someone nearby starts to snap, snap, snap a cell phone, you just assume an innocent expression, squeeze your little “worry pearl” and see immediately that your wish is coming true: the idiot’s cell phone connection dies.
Right after the column came out, readers bombarded us with questions about where to buy it? oh, then-fictional? Product. The first non-fictional cell phone jamming products (as far as we know) came out a year later, in 1998, from a company in Japan and another from a company in Israel. The Times article mentions a company, https://www.jammer-shop.com/de/, that now sells a variety of such devices.