The Mobile Phone That Knows You're Busy

from the but-how? dept

Roland Piquepaille writes “According to this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researchers are developing a new cell phone technology which is aware of the user’s activities and can react to it. “This new mobile phone technology, called “SenSay” for Sensing and Saying, was developed this spring. The SenSay system uses four primary sensors: a microphone to pick up the user’s voice, another to monitor noise around the user, a light sensor and an accelerometer.” SenSay can detect four different states: busy and not to be interrupted, physically active, idle and “normal,” and react accordingly. For example, if the user is busy, it can block an incoming call. Commercial products are not planned yet, but DARPA will test the prototypes. More excerpts from the article and references are available in my blog, including an image showing the current status of the SenSay system.” I wonder how well such technology actually works – and how someone will feel the first time they miss an important phone call when the phone decides (incorrectly) that they were busy. Not that I don’t think this technology could be cool if it worked, but I wouldn’t buy one until it was a few generations in.

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Comments on “The Mobile Phone That Knows You're Busy”

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Roland Piquepaille (user link) says:

I completely agrees with Mike

Before I trust a phone that decides to filter my calls, or to buy something for me, there will be several generations of products. And remember the technology described in this post is not even available today. It’s reserved for the folks at DARPA. So I don’t think we’ll be able to see this kind of phones anytime sooN

Beck says:

New Idea

This gives me an idea for a new phone feature. One that will not cause you to miss an important call, and that will prevent the disruption of phones ringing in situations where the sound is disruptive. It is a variation on phone-jamming systems, which I think are an awful idea.

Most phones have the ability to ring out loud or ring by vibrating. The problem to be solved is that people sometimes set their phones to ring out loud in settings where the noise is inappropriate. It is not usually intentional, but it is annoying. I have an idea to prevent this from happening, without the phone owner having to take any action and at the same time without missing an important call.

I propose a new device that sends out a signal designating an area as a “ring-free” zone. Mobile phones will have the built-in ability to receive this signal and automatically switch to vibrate-mode when in the presence of the signal.

Theaters, libraries, and other places where ringing phones are disruptive can install and activate the device. Important phone calls will not be missed. The call recipient can move to the proper area and take the phone call, or return the call when it is no longer inappropriate to use the phone.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: New Idea

What’s amazing though is that you recalled the existence of a post from three years ago, despite having probably posted over 10,000 items since that time!

Yeah. I used to be proud of the fact that I could remember the basic content of just about every post on Techdirt (just under 14,000 posts as of this writing). However, that ability is slipping, and one person (who shall remain nameless) has had fun lately finding old, related posts that I’ve forgotten about and bringing them up again.

Generally, it’s just the ideas that I remember. So, you spoke about that idea, and it triggered an alarm in my head that said “I’ve heard something like that before – and if that’s true, I probably posted it.” Then I do a search, and voila. There it is.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 New Idea

one person (who shall remain nameless) has had fun lately finding old, related posts that I’ve forgotten about and bringing them up again.

Dude, we all have to have our hobbies, and there’s just too many trainspotters. Thus, naturally former trainspotters need something else to obsessively grovel and tabulate.

AMetamorphosis says:

Phone etiquette

We all already have the ability to control our calls. Its the off button. It works consistently. The voice mail takes calls and when time permits I return them. Anyone that has become addicted to their mobile phone as their main form of communication is missing out on so much. I think as cell phone technology matures, so will peoples attitudes toward these devices. I must say I like the idea of ” ring free ” zones … and HEY PHONE MANUFACTURES ( CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW ? ) Add a ONE button on the front of ALL phones that allow a person to switch between ringer and vibrate mode.

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