Dream of Smacking Your Cell Phone to Shut it Up? Microsoft Wants to Patent That

Where's the most embarrassing place your phone has gone off? Would you use an app that lets you silence your device with a quick whack?

It happens to everyone at some point or another.

You're in a movie theater, the plot is thickening, the suspense is building, and all of a sudden, you hear a dreaded melody coming from your purse.

Amid glares from everyone seated around you, you scramble to locate your phone, which seems to take an eternity. Then, even worse, you have to pull it from your bag and frantically reach for the magical silent button as the familiar tune of "Call Me Maybe" (or something else equally horrifying) grows even louder.

Where's the most embarrassing place your phone has gone off in public? Tell us in the comments section...

Now it appears Microsoft is working on a solution to at least shorten the duration of the uncomfortable but common situation. As GeekWire reports, the software company has filed a patent for a “whack-based audio control module” that would apparently enable app users to smack their phones into silent mode.

Unlike similar technology that lets users hit a button or turn their phone upside down to put it in silent mode, this feature would make it possible to end the noise while the device is still in your bag or pocket. But, as GeekWire notes, playing Whack-a-Mole with your purse might cause more of a disruption than the phone itself.

It's not clear at this point whether Microsoft will actually end up marketing the technology. Read the GeekWire post for more details.

Jennifer Squires September 19, 2012 at 05:47 AM
OK. I'll start. Wedding. Yes. I was at a wedding last weekend and a woman's phone rang (not mine, I swear). Luckily, it was an outdoor wedding and it was had to hear the ring tone over the coastal wind.
Jacob Bourne September 19, 2012 at 04:20 PM
The first public meeting I ever covered was a county redistricting meeting in Montgomery County, Maryland. I had my phone on the table recording the meeting and my phone started ringing really loudly with a ringtone that I would rather not have public officials hear...that was horrible.
Cathy P. September 19, 2012 at 07:59 PM
It's not my phone I need to "smack," it's the person behind me in the movie theater or the guy at the restaurant table next to mine. It's interesting that in the violent world we now live in, Microsoft would call it a "whack-based" technology. Here, take THAT!
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