Microsoft has recently filed a patent that would elicit two specific responses from mobile phone users. First is “why didn’t they think of this earlier?” The second is, “what possessed them to call it whacking?”
The patent Microsoft filed basically involves a new way of triggering a phone to go on silent or stop making a sound by “whacking” the device. You have to acknowledge that the process of whacking a phone to keep it quiet is, well, genius. It’s one of those things that’s so obvious, so basic that you wonder why no one implemented this feature before.According to the patent filing:
“There are a variety of circumstances under which it may be desirable to quickly control a device without having to interact with a traditional user interface. For example, often mobile device users forget to set their mobile devices in a silent or vibrate mode and the device rings or makes sounds at an inopportune moment.”
This new feature can really be quite useful. Mobile phone users have been in that situation before – being in a place where people are involved in doing something and then that atmosphere is interrupted by the ringing of the phone. The phone user tries to turn the sound off but it takes a painfully long time before the sound cuts off. With Microsoft’s solution, you simply need to tap or slap your phone and it turns off immediately. You won’t be that douche who interrupts a meeting anymore.
Microsoft wanted to make sure that its patent is airtight so that no one can find a loophole around it. The patent describes the action need as a, among other things, flick, push, smack, tap and push. Only time will tell if Microsoft will actually develop this feature and incorporate it into future Windows Phones.