My Most Important Cell Phone Feature
By crupi on Mar 13, 2005
One of my favorite comics is the one where two dogs are sitting at the computer and the tag line reads "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." But, I think we need a comic relevant to "generation flex" who like the flexibility of working from anywhere and doing conference calls at home, in the car, on the treadmill, while feeding the kids, going to the bathroom and even while changing poopie diapers. Not that I do any of these ;>, but I know others do. How? I can hear them. How can I hear them? Because, today's cell phone mute button technology sucks! That's right, let's start innovating in the least addressed feature of the cell phone; the mute button.
I have a nokia 82xx phone and it requires me to press a button, toggle down to "mute" and then select it. That's three steps! Plus, pressing a button is not conducive to how we mute. We mute out of necessity and we mute quickly and often. Pressing a button, let alone one which requires three steps is all wrong. So, here is what I propose: Gesture-based cellphone muting. Here's a few ideas:
1. The High-speed Wave gesture:
Basically, I wave the phone to the right and then to the left and it goes to mute. I reverse the process to turn off mute. Note: this is best suited for headsets and not hand-holders.
2. The Pressure gesture:
This method works for both headsets and hand-holders. Very simply, you squeeze the phone to place it in mute. You press again to turn off mute. This works best for the headset-ers who hold the phone. Of course, there is a pleasant audible to tell you if you're in mute mode.
3. The Scream gesture:
This is my favorite and very consistent with what happens right before you need to mute. Your daughter walks in the room and says; "Daddy, mommy says you need to stop working or she's leaving you...". Since, this is not something new and you know its dinner time, your 6th sense detects your daughter coming and right before she says a word, you yell out; "MUTE!". Instantly, your phone goes into mute mode. Maybe you can program in something better than "MUTE", such as "LOVE", "YOU LOOK GREAT", "I DON'T DESERVE YOU" or "HAVE YOU LOST WEIGHT". Your choice, but any of these will have the same muting effect, but can also help relationships at the same time. I'd call this a double win!
Hopefully, someone from Motorola, Nokia or Ericsson will read this blog and grant my wish. If you have other ideas, please comment!