Smack your phone to silence it; why didn’t Google think of this?!


Isn’t it frustrating when you are in a meeting and your phone starts ringing? Or when you are watching the last 5 minutes of that awesome movie or show and you just want to smack the heck out of your phone when it rings. Well, Microsoft has already thought of this and has filed a patent to achieve this.

That is right, Windows Phone users will probably be able to give their phones a slap and keep them quiet. This is a very fun way to interact with a device, one must say. Certain Android devices have similar features, with the most popular being turning your phone face down, which then silences the device. This can be replicated with some apps out there, but compared to smacking your device these techniques just seem too cute.

Now that Microsoft has its hands on this patent, it will be harder for us Android users to get this feature. Certainly, I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more if a manufacturer gets this licensed. Or maybe a way to do this (or something similar) without infringing on this patent can be found. Come on, developers!

While this is humorous, it solves an issue Android smartphones have no way of doing so. A device would theoretically be able to be silenced in many convenient ways. You wouldn’t even have to hold it. One could simply hit a smartphone that is located inside a bag, or in a pocket. We currently have no easy solutions for silencing a device this easily. It definitely has its advantages, aside from anger release.

Would you like to be able to whack your phone to shut it up, or would you consider this just another gimmick? Are you more than happy with turning your smartphone face down?

[Source: USPTO Via: Mashable]

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  • ScottyByrd

    Dont think Id want to slap my phone around. Next thing you know carriers will be questioning “Did you hit it too hard and it stop working? We cant offer you a replacement for abuse.” lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmy-Turk/1389877562 Jimmy Turk

    Too bad if your wearing a chunky ring, and make a nice scuff mark on your shiny Winmo8 phone! Nice idea, but they can keep it. The s3′s turn over feature is good, although i dont really use it. However, simply pressing the power or volume button on a galaxy device it just as effective at silencing – fairly sure other android devices are similar, correct me if im wrong!?

    • PhilNelwyn

      If your phone is in your pocket you can’t turn it over, and you won’t scratch it with your ring.
      I don’t want that on my phone though, because if the feature gets known, anyone will be able to silence my phone without my permission.
      Plus, on a meeting, even if you silence it quickly it’s too late: you’ve drawn attention to yourself. When you have to be discreet, you silence it beforehand.

      • Brian Kosek

        What’s not discreet about thwacking your phone in the middle of a meeting? X_X

        • PhilNelwyn

          Why would you thwack it?

  • Spoken Word™

    Because it’s stupid!

  • Daniel

    I would love this. Whenever its in my pocket and the vibration goes off I would love to just hit it.

  • MikeDiSalvo

    I’ve been surprised for years that this feature hadn’t existed. However something as simple as reading a single sensor data and perform function should not be patentable. It’s almost as bad as slide to unlock. Worse in some ways if you think about it enough.

  • SocalTeknique

    Flipping my Amaze over does the job

  • PhineasJW

    I’m pretty content with pressing the volume rocker to silence the phone. Glad someone didn’t patent that.

    This strikes me as a bit of a gimmick.

    • malcmilli

      I’d like this feature, if my phone is in my pocket, it becomes very difficult to just “turn it over” and i could pull up my shirt and reach into my pocket n hope the phone isnt upside down, and all this takes a few extra moments if you are sitting down. Slapping it to silent would be very useful, especially if you are at work or in a meeting. I dont think its a gimmick at all. People tend to label anything they personally dont use as a gimmick.

      • ScottColbert

        Until you realize you look like a total doofus slapping your leg in a meeting.

        • malcmilli

          Better to slap my leg, than for my inappropriate ring tone to go off lol

          • Montisaquadeis

            The phone would have to go off before you silenced it so that negates your comment since the ring tone would play regardless.

          • malcmilli

            The first second or second and a half would play b4 I could slap it, but might play between 3-4 seconds if I have to dig into my pockets while sitting down. So one second of the songs beat is much better than once the lyrics kick in. But yeah it’s not for everyone (and what really is?) But it is useful for some people.

          • yippiedad

            Come on – of course the phone will vibrate for a second or two before the sound kicks in so you’ll have time to silence it. Otherwise it would be plain stupid…

          • malcmilli

            My phone doesn’t doesn’t before the sound kicks in… It vibrates while it rings….

          • thedicemaster

            my phone always vibrates just before the ringtone starts.
            that should give enough time to whack it right before the ringtone starts.

  • No_Nickname90

    Actually, being the company that they are, I’m sure Google would just ask to license this from Microsoft, and Apple would just steal it and still be able to get it patented.

    • Ahhk

      Actually, the illustration above implies hitting it only with all 5 fingers. Apple will just patent the use of anything BUT all 5 fingers – and tell everybody how innovative they are!

      • acey_zero

        The illustration is not important, the claims are what is important and they have no such restriction. In fact, briefly looking over the claims they seem quite broad and seem to cover using just the accelerometer data to determine a whack. Hard for me to believe this is preventable with all the prior art in this area already out there…

        • Ahhk

          You are seriously lacking a sense of humor.

          • Manbo

            I don’t get it. ^_^

    • DroidDoesnt_2

      Like Google “asked” Apple to license their multitouch patent? Oh right, they just stole it….

      • http://twitter.com/espchris91 Chris Ruble

        Apple didn’t invent that. They did however, patent it pretty well.

        • DroidDoesnt_2

          So if they hold the patent for it it doesn’t matter if they invented it of not. Google didn’t invent notifications on a mobile phone. They did invent a different way of implementing those notifications, and if they hold the patent for that implementation, they could and should rightfully sue Apple. Same with multitouch….Apple didn’t invent it, they just invented a way of using it in a way that no one ever even thought to.

          • master94

            Even Apple admitted that stock Android’s multitouch isn’t the same as ios. So no need to pay for it.

          • Manbo

            So what you are saying is:
            “Same with multitouch…. (Google) didn’t invent it, they just invented a way of using it in a way that no one ever even thought to.”

            Just to clarify for the troll. They tend to not understand anything intelligent… or true.

      • a) youth.in.asia

        I finally figured out what the “i” in iPhone means… Innovation … And they need competition with better ideas in order to …innovate like Apple seems to do so well. Pull down drawer sticks out the most.

  • CryptoNoel

    there could be a rub your phone to silence it patent…

  • LawrenceMcatee

    HTC does this… you just flip the phone over….

  • AlienGod

    lol… so future windows phone users would behave like hitting mosquitoes… moto smartactions/tasker could do the same job by saving that smack to your phone… of course unless you have an unplanned meeting..

  • meliorist

    If they also have a patent for slapping chatty movie watchers to silence them, can I have a license?

    • PhilNelwyn

      I’d feel safer if it outright turned them off.

  • Elias Lugo

    Never saw a need for such feature. I mean, how inconvenient is it to put your phone on silence to begin with (Or “ignoring” the call) ? This is totally a gimmick. Besides, I don’t know how I would feel about hitting an expensive and some-what delicate miniature computer. I treasure my device.

  • dominik b

    Maybe something like this can be achieved with Tasker

    • ntegrit

      It could definitely be achieved with Tasker, since it could be done very simply even with Llama. Create two events, to silence the phone and restore volume, based on a special character in a calendar event, and place that character in your calendar for anything (meeting, show, class, etc) that you schedule that calls for silencing your phone.

      • noseph

        I put my VZW GN in meeting mode with Tasker by placing it face down on the table during meetings.

  • IrishSid

    Genius! I’d love to slap my pocket to silence my phone. Hopefully someone can make an app for it.

  • IrishSid

    Everyone here is so blind. This is a really good idea.

  • Montisaquadeis

    Being able to shake your phone quiet would help to get around this patent for googles sack if they really wanted something like it. The movement would trigger the silent function. Have the gyroscope or whatever it is that senses movement trigger the function if the movement is fast and hard enough. That way a simple movement wouldn’t trigger it by mistake.

  • Crickerman

    I like it

  • DarrenR

    This would be great if it was sitting on a desk, or on my couch, but I dont think it would be a good idea to use that feature inside a purse or bag.

  • Piyush

    i don’t want 2 whack my expensive phone

  • ari_free

    I think we can come up with better ideas than this one. :)

  • roberthenderson

    That’s funny, that feature has been around on android (or at least a couple of ROMs) for at least a year now.

  • louched1

    For shame, Microsoft! I would never strike one of my children!

    • Manbo

      But it would shut them up according to this! :D

  • http://twitter.com/NoobDeveloper $(‘#Anil’)

    Is it that hard to take your phone from pocket and cancel the call ?

    • thedicemaster

      yes, if you’re driving a small car or ride a bicycle.
      or if you have jeans with really tight pockets.
      or in any other situation where you’re sitting and are unable to get up.

  • Don_SoLow

    This would’ve been perfect when I was in high school and my phone would ring in class

  • Gigley

    Guys, i swear i hav seen it about a year ago on a mid range htc phone. If you would activate it you could shut the thing up with a slap in your poket ro a

  • http://Www.activeslimming.com Chris

    Soon, saying bullshit will be patentable. Microsoft should be ashamed.

  • Sondrek17

    Great! Maybe I will see this function on my htc Titan.

  • Marc Van Giel

    On Android you don’t have to resort to violence… Just turn the device on its screen. (there’s a script or app for that)

  • Marc Van Giel

    With Google Now, which keeps track of your appointments and locations this, kind of thing will not be be needed anymore, it could happen automatically.

  • chaizan

    One word: Tasker

  • http://flavors.me/sabret00the sabret00the

    This is awesome for when the phone is in your pocket.

  • RahjerDat

    I do that right now with my S3

  • Manbo

    I don’t really have a problem pressing the volume button on the side of my phone…

  • a) youth.in.asia

    This is the exact technology that is currently implemented in sex. She get too loud, you need the quick slap to silence her