Technology

Hove bar blocks mobile phone signal to be more social

The Gin Tub bar in Hove Image copyright The Gin Tub

A landlord in Sussex has built a "Faraday cage" around his bar to block mobile phone signals, in an attempt to encourage face-to-face conversation.

Steve Tyler put silver foil in the walls and copper wire mesh in the ceiling of the Gin Tub in Hove.

He said he was tired of people coming in and not socialising with each other or with anyone else in the building.

"I've seen it progressively get worse and worse and I thought, 'I want to stop this,'" Mr Tyler told BBC Sussex.

Image copyright The Gin Tub
Image caption Customers enjoy their drink without their mobile phone at the Gin Tub

"I want people to socialise with the people they are with, rather than the people they are not with.

"I took the bold decision by not blocking the signal with a jammer but doing as best as I could with a Faraday cage and make people talk to each other, and to be honest it has worked very well.

"I had quite a lot of copper mesh and thought, 'I could put this in the ceiling.'

"I was mucking about with it to see if it would block a signal, and it does when you put your phone in it."

Mr Tyler plans to have a mobile phone area outside similar to a smoking area.

Image copyright The Gin Tub
Image caption The new bar has been open for a week

"When it comes to making 999 calls in case of emergency, the bar has a landline phone in order to do so," he said.

"It's the same as the London Underground - that's no more dangerous than my bar.

"The response I've had is overwhelming. People enjoy the fact they can only take pictures and then go outside to log on or check in," he said.

"I've had one complaint from a customer, and it was that she got a signal. We moved her to another table."

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