The first 2 days of my Bangalore hotel stay, my room key card frustratingly kept failing. Elevator would not go up, room door would not open. Once a day I had to go to the reception desk and get them to reset it. Grrrrr. Then, on the third day, the young man at reception asked me "are you keeping the card near your cell phone sir?" Indeed I had been. My Bangalore office colleague had given me his old Samsung slide-smart-phone with a local number, and then he added 100 rupies (about $2,50) of air time to it, at 1 rupee a minute - compared to my corporate "Global Connect Phone" rental which rapes customers at $4 a minute international rates. So I actually had 2 cell phones in my pocket next to the room key.
Proximity of a magnetic strip room key to a cell phone is not as big a problem, if the phone is not in use. The power consumption and electromagnetic field is teeny tiny if the phone is not transmitting or receiving anything. But Indian tele marketeers are aggressive bastards. In the first hour after minutes were added to the phone, 7 text message adds arrived. In the week I've had the phone, I've been spammed called twice a day minimum, text (Want to put a smile on your face? Call blah...blah...blah...) messaged for offers I can't pass up 1/2 a dozen times (FREE Matrimony!!!). Each of these spammed calls and texts were irradiating the key card in my pocket with bursts of magnetic energy to wipe it's weakly imprinted digital code.
So remember... always keep your cell phone and your room key (and wallet) in different pockets. Electromagnetic field intensity put out by cell phones (and other digital devices) drops as a square function of the distance from the source, Hmmmm.. wonder what they were doing to the boys, a few inches to the left? =P
1 year ago