Many times we are warned about the sensitivity and fragility of our devices especially our mobile phones and tablets. Microsoft however has gone completely around by introducing the idea of “whacking” our devices to silence them. True, even the hard, compact nature of mobile phone casings has more or less done away with the scary inadvertent drop of our mobile phones. But whacking them off into silence is not scary – it’s hilarious.
What Microsoft has in mind is that there are certain times when you need to quickly terminate the function of your device and sometimes it’s so quick you don’t have time to correctly position your piece front up and get to the controls for stopping it. For instance a user may omit to set his/her mobile to the vibrate mode making the device to ring during inconvenient times like during meetings.
The method offered by Microsoft is not that of frantically looking for the right button to push to stop the ringing buy by applying a whack to the device. According to the Microsoft patent application, when the “whack” is applied, the audio control of the mobile phone receives data for accelerating a pending function from accelerometer 120.
The whack itself is reported to the system by 130, the whack event data reporter. So the whack event is actually dealt with between accelerometer 120 and event data reporter 130. This means that the sound of the whack in the control module receives data when the event takes place and correlates it with the acceleration data and event data to determine the occurrence of the whack and to respond accordingly.
In a clear illustration Mobile has managed to show the interplay of the user (310) whacking a mobile device (320) which results in an audio signal (330). The whack itself causes the mobile to accelerate as it travels over time. The whack can be applied to the mobile device and may take many forms depending on the user. It could be a hit, tap, push, flick, smack or a swat.
It may even be an inadvertent impact against something or someone that may trigger the desired end purpose. Normally a mobile device is carried in a pocket (340) and as such, a whack usually impacts only one side of the device. Microsoft indicates that the whack can be applied to one or more sides of the mobile. The whack is detected by the exemplar whack event data.
According to Microsoft engineers, there are certain instances when a whack may be applied to the mobile device. These are when the mobile device is: ringing, playing recorded music, ringtone paly, audio initiated by the user, a simple tone and others. Normally any audio signal may be in reply to an incoming call, message, update or a reminder for work engagements and so on.
It’s true that the thought of whacking a delicate device such as a mobile phone was unthinkable as rough handling was then thought to be anathema to the status of the mobile. However, as technological know-how escalates the need to be over cautious about our devices may be at an end.
It could be possible that an unbreakable mobile or tablet version could be just under the horizon and wouldn’t that be something when it does happen!