Microsoft's patent application calls for whacking a smartphone

In the "We can't make this stuff up" category this weekend, a new patent application has been discovered from Microsoft that actually calls for "whacking" a smartphone. Yes, Microsoft seems to actually use the term "whack" as part of its patent proposal for silencing a smartphone or other mobile device.

PatentBolt reports that, according to Microsoft:

There are a variety of circumstances under which it may be desirable to quickly control a device without having to interact with a traditional user interface. For example, often mobile device users forget to set their mobile devices in a silent or vibrate mode and the device rings or makes sounds at an inopportune moment.

Microsoft's patent, (officially, the number is 20120231838), shows how hardware, which the company calls (for reasons unknown to man), a "whack based audio control module" could be placed in a mobile device such as a smartphone, tablet or other product. If such a device rings or makes another sound "in a shirt pocket, a pants pocket, a bag, a purse, flat, on edge, or on a table", the person with such a product could "whack" it in order to silence the device in a variety of different ways.

As usual with any Microsoft patent, there's no word when or even if the company will actually bring this type of technology to the real world. However, we hope that if this does happen, they keep the "whack based audio control module" term.

Source: PatentBolt.com | Image via Microsoft/PatentBolt.com

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Coolicer said,
This is genious! Why hasn't someone think of it before? We all smack out pockets before grabbing our phone to silence an alarm / incoming call anyway.

So brilliant!! Also love the patent drawing "whack based audio control module"

Coolicer said,
This is genious! Why hasn't someone think of it before? We all smack out pockets before grabbing our phone to silence an alarm / incoming call anyway.

Depends how vague you want to be. But whacking a device is not new. There has been a script around for a while, which changes workspace on linux when you hit the side of the screen.

Dot Matrix said,
.... Or "whack" it to activate it.... You know.... Like Starfleet combadges....

What I was thinking. That would be cool.

The idea behind this is solid, as said above, we whack/hit our phone when it rings in our pockets, there could also be other times, even when left on the table or desk. This seems like a even better, more natural way to silence your phone, more than remembering to flip it over when you put it down.

GP007 said,
The idea behind this is solid, as said above, we whack/hit our phone when it rings in our pockets, there could also be other times, even when left on the table or desk. This seems like a even better, more natural way to silence your phone, more than remembering to flip it over when you put it down.

Just pressing the phone's power button isn't easy enough? That's all it takes right now, you don't even need to take it out of your pocket.

andrewbares said,

Just pressing the phone's power button isn't easy enough? That's all it takes right now, you don't even need to take it out of your pocket.

I still have to reach into my pocket to find and press the button, that's not always an option.

andrewbares said,

Just pressing the phone's power button isn't easy enough? That's all it takes right now, you don't even need to take it out of your pocket.

Most devices, it is any button. Power, Volume, etc. A lot easier to just find any button.

On HTC Windows Phones, they also have the response features, like flip over to silence when ringing, quiet when you pick it up or move, and set face down while in a call to turn on speaker phone, etc.

A quick tap would be good, at least apple won't be able patent something like this or if they did it would be called someat different like the tap of god.

psionicinversion said,
A quick tap would be good, at least apple won't be able patent something like this or if they did it would be called someat different like the tap of god.

iTap lol

I remember my Nokia 5500 Sport having a similar feature: two "whacks" on the front to play/pause music, two on the left spine to skip to the next track and on the right spine to go back a song.

deadonthefloor said,
MS and their whacks.

HTTP colon whack whack
C colon back whack
Now tap a whack
Whaaaa?


Who in the hell calls a slash a "whack"? And Microsoft didn't come up with http://.

roadwarrior said,

Who in the hell calls a slash a "whack"? And Microsoft didn't come up with http://.

I realize that.
MS employees refer to it as whack.
Just watch some circa 2010 Channel 9 videos.

deadonthefloor said,

I realize that.
MS employees refer to it as whack.
Just watch some circa 2010 Channel 9 videos.

Only some of them do in certain groups. I still say Slash/Forward Slash & Backslash.

On occasion I have been known to say Forward Whack & Back Whack though if I'm with certain people who prefer that term.

It's a good idea, and pretty neat that it doesn't require touchscreen interaction too (beneath clothing). Only last week some idiot didn't silence his phone while we were sitting in a cremation service for a dear friend who had passed away.

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