Entries for May 2009

May 20, 2009

60 Seconds in the Life of Windows

Part 37 in an ongoing series of (approximately) 60 Second Films.

May 6, 2009

Idea: Motion-detecting cell phone ringer

Sometimes it’s not appropriate to have my cell phone ringer on (like at the movies, for example), so I set the ringer to vibrate. It’s not a big deal if I forget to turn it back on right away because I keep my phone in my pocket, so I’ll feel the vibration when I get a call. But sometimes I come home and empty my pockets and forget to turn the ringer back on. I’ve missed calls because I didn’t hear the phone vibrate from across the room.

The phone has an accelerometer built in. So how about an optional setting for vibrate mode called “motion-sensing vibrate”? If it doesn’t detect any movement for, say, 15 minutes, it would automatically turn the ringer back on, and also make a noise if I missed a call in those 15 minutes so I know to check my messages.

Before automatically turning the ringer back on, it could vibrate steadily for 15 seconds as a warning indicator, just in case the phone is still in my pocket but I’ve somehow managed to stay perfectly still for the past 15 minutes (which seems unlikely to me). This would give me fair warning that the ringer is going to turn on so I can override it if needed.

Of course, if you keep your phone in a bag or purse, you would not want to use this setting.