Microsoft Patents Technology to Silence Your Phone When it Should Be

Posted on January 15, 2013 8:35 AM by Rob Williams

Microsoft sure does like to patent odd things whenever it can. This time, it’s a technology that allows a phone to detect when it should remain silent, and then shut itself up. No one wants to be the schmuck in a movie theater that brings everyone back 10 years with their hampster dance ringtone, and Microsoft is all too aware of it.


The solution, then, is to allow your phone to detect not only how silent a room is, but also your geographical location. In a movie theater? That cues the phone to remain silent. Fairly simple stuff. Of course, it’s not quite as simple as taking the time to turn your phone or at least the ringer off – but let’s give people the benefit of the doubt here and just assume that they forgot. Plus, we already know that John dies at the end.

If you’re worried that because your phone is silent, you’ll be cut off from the outer world – don’t fret. You’ll still receive silent alerts. Overall, a pretty cool technology, but not one I’m sure is totally necessary.

  • Sean Stewart

    Why doesn’t Microsoft develop and patent a smartphone that consumers will actually purchase?

    • Rob Williams

      I tend to agree there… but a lot of people do like their Windows Phones. I just… can’t get into it, unfortunately. It’s not the devices, it’s the OS.

  • The Focus Elf

    Hmm, so if I go to a town park and leave my phone on a picnic table it won’t ring because of the relative solitude? I can think of six law suits for every argument in favor of this. And with profiles on phones making a resurgence, this tech isn’t really needed. My phone will only ring in a movie theater if an *important person* calls in. Frankly I don’t care if I’m that schmuck if my baby sitter needs to tell me one of my kids is hurt.

    • Rob Williams

      You could still have it set to vibrate. But I hear you, there’s a large room for error here.

      • The Focus Elf

        Meh I just take issues with those “smart” technologies. You’d only have to tilt your head ever so slightly. Mosquito ringtone for the win?

  • xOptix78

    Common sense is free…but rare.

    • Rob Williams

      So rare, a ring made of the material would be worth millions.

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