Microsoft: Whack Your Cellphone to Stop Ringing
Microsoft is in the process of pursuing a new patent that would stop mobile phone rings with a simple "whack". The new technology could save users from embarrassing searches through pockets and purses in order to find and press the 'decline' or 'end call' button.
The Microsoft patent application is filed under the name "Controlling Audio of a Device."
According to the patent description, it covers "a method comprising, in a mobile communications device, receiving information indicative of acceleration of the mobile communications device, determining correlation between the information indicative of acceleration of the mobile communications device and exemplar whack event data."
Microsoft Clarifies What Constitutes a "Whack"
Microsoft's use of the term "whack" has aroused vibrant discussion in online forums. Critiques of the term were prevalent enough for Microsoft to feel compelled to issue a response on the matter.
The software giant clarified that "whacking" the device to mute the system also involves "slaps, hits, swats, smacks, flicks, pushes, taps and the like." (Source: digitaltrends.com)
In actuality, striking a whack-enabled smartphone delivers a jolt to its internal accelerometer. With the new technology in place, that could be enough to cause the phone to turn off its audio output.
(Microsoft also clarifies that "audio" incorporates a phone ring, custom ringtones, user-initiated audio, a message alert, a personal recording or an alarm.)
Battery Life, Excessive Force Areas of Concern
However, some insiders are concerned that leaving the accelerometer on for long periods of time will rapidly drain a smartphone's battery. Microsoft is looking to reduce this problem by linking motion-detection to the phone ring or other audio signal.
Another criticism is that users have no guidance regarding how much force they need to cancel a ring. What happens if a user strikes a device too hard, breaking the phone? Will that void the warranty?
If not, this would likely give some people an excuse to return a broken smartphone simply by claiming they "whacked" the device to stop it from ringing at an inconvenient time or place. (Source: theregister.co.uk)
Observers expect Microsoft will have answers for these questions as smartphones outfitted with the "whack" technology near retail release.
Free eBook: The Windows 7 Guide: From Newbies to Pros. In this 46 page guide you will be introduced to Windows 7 and what it has to offer. It will teach you about the new taskbar, how to resolve software compatibility issues, how to customize Windows Aero, and explain what the Windows 7 Libraries are all about. Also included: a detailed list of what software is included in Windows 7, and how easy networking is with Windows 7 along with other topics. The advice within this guide will help new users become acquainted with Windows 7 and can also help those who are on the fence about purchasing Windows 7 decide if it would be a good idea. Click here to download this eBook now! Note: this eBook is free, but registration is required; after that, you can select more ebooks and videos for download without registering again. If you have questions / problems with the registration form, please read this.