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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stop Cell Phone Calls During Movies Now!

Jessica Alba just died. I was in disbelief. How could she possibly die in Silver Surfer? Was she faking her death? Nope. She was really dead. Was she asking too much for the next sequel? Wait, there's no way she could really die. But how would they bring her back? I was pondering all the existential implications of her surprise death when someone's phone rang, totally interrupting my flow of my thoughts and threating what's left of my fellow man restraint supply.

Conservatively speaking, that's about the millionth time a phone call has interrupted my joyful experience of a very expensive movie. I am tired off it. Do you feel me?

The problem is the probability of someone getting a phone call during a movie is really high. Let's say there are 50 people watching a movie and they all have cellphones. OK, not everyone will have a cellphone, but some people will have two or three or even four, so it balances out. It seems to me the chances are better than excellent at least one person will forget to turn off their phone and get a phone call. After all, in a group of 50 people the probability two people will have the same birthday is over 90%.

What we need is a mechanism that doesn't require people to remember to turn off their cellphone. People are built to make errors and no dramatic special effect laced turn-off-your-phone vignette will change that. Jamming will only piss people off and has the downside of being illegal.

How about we have a special signal that when received by a phone automatically makes it go to voice mail mode instead of ring mode? Certain venues like theaters and class rooms could broadcast this signal. So when you enter a protected area your phone behaves with social intelligence and automatically silences itself. When you leave an area your phone would automatically go back to its default mode.

Voila! No phone calls during special events and you won't miss your calls. Best of all, people don't have to do anything. And that's what people are really best at. Building this sort of ambient social intelligence into our devices might help us all get along, just a little better.

What do you think? Could it work?

comment[] 10:53:22 PM       digg   reddit

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