London, Jan 14 (ANI): Hate it when you fail to silence that ringing cell phone in a packed cinema? Well, next time, giving your phone a nice whack might just do the trick for you.
With the right software installed, it may one day be possible to cut a call by "whacking" the phone in a particular pattern while it's still in your pocket.
Developed by Scott Hudson and Chris Harrison at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and colleagues at Intel Labs in Seattle, Washington, the system could work with any cellphone containing an accelerometer.
The accelerometer is an increasingly common component that can detect and decode every bump and shake inflicted on the phone.
The team developed a simple vocabulary of "whack gestures" designed to rapidly communicate simple commands such as silencing the phone.
To help the device distinguish the gestures from background bumps, each begins and ends with a firm "whack".
And the researchers found that framing each gesture with a whack seems to work.
Eleven volunteers were each asked to carry a phone-sized, accelerometer-equipped device in their pockets for 2 hours as they went about their normal activities.
The device correctly identified all whack gestures they were asked to perform by the researchers, and only registered one false positive in 22 hours of being carried in pockets.
"I think for whack gestures to be commercially viable only two gestures might be desired: one to silence the phone, and a second to postpone an alert, ask the caller to try again in 5 minutes or snooze an alarm," New Scientist quoted Harrison as saying.
The work will be presented at the Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (ANI)