The cell phone you can smack

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Almost everyone has experienced the embarrassment of having his or her new or old cell phone start to ring at the most inappropriate moment imaginable, but now Microsoft has the answer to that age-old dilemma: the ability to smack it to tell it to shut up.

The software giant has patented the idea of the smackable cell phone, implying that it may well find its way onto the phones of Windows Mobile very soon.  The Microsoft method will involve the use of an ‘accelerometer’ that turns on when the cell phone starts to ring; tells it what direction it is currently pointing in and is able to spot sudden movements.  People will then be able just to smack the screen to silence it.

Ringing cell phones have become the bane of modern existence for many, with a number of famous cases hitting the headlines in recent times.  Actor Kevin Spacey was performing as Richard III in a Sydney theatre last December when an unfortunate audience member’s cell phone began to ring, prompting the actor, remaining in character all the way, to bellow “Tell them we’re busy” at him, while a similar incident prompted a reaction from orchestra music director Alan Gilbert in the January of this year.

“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,” Microsoft says.