In addition to many benefits brought to us by mobile phones, there have been a few drawbacks as well. Especially, related to ethics/culture/social issues of the mobile phone use.
Don’t you just hate it, when during an engaging presentation, show or movie, a mobile phone of some as#$%^&&, sorry, forgetful person, begins to ring? What about someone taking out his high end cameraphone and doing something with it in the locker room? Can you be sure he’s not taking your nude pictures in the shower? What about someone secretly recording confidential conversation on his mobile phone?
Microsoft seems to have an idea how to solve all these problems at once. By creating device manners policy DMP), to which all mobile devices will have to comply to. And they even want to patent it.
According to Microsoft:
Such policy may be used to communicate to various mobile and other devices the “manners” with which compliance is expected or required. Similar to some of the social manners honored among people, such as with “no smoking” or “employees only” zones, “no swimming” or “no flash photography” areas, and scenarios for “please wash your hands” or “no talking out loud”, devices may recognize and comply with analogous “device manners” policy.
The system can be implemented in several ways. Bigger venues and businesses may have a separate box – DMP server – which transmits information about allowed actions to all mobile devices within it’s reach. Nearby devices can wirelessly talk to each other and agree on the limits of acceptable behavior. Policies might be transmitted via carrier network and implemented at certain locations via GPS positioning or tower triangulation. In some cases even some non-perceptible to human signals, like invisible (to human eye) watermark, or inaudible (to human ear) audio signals and RFID tags may be used to lock some functionality of the mobile device.
Examples of the use of such Device Manners Policy include:
- a museum, which provides additional exhibit info to users mobile phone, but transmits a “no photography” policy and allows to bring in only those gadgets that indicate compliance with it
- the “no photography” DMP may be provided in the form of a special tag such as a unique watermark (generally not visible to humans), radio frequency identification (“RFID”) device, or the like located on or near various exhibits, such a tag being detectable and/or identifiable by a DMP-enabled device via optical, RF, or other appropriate means.
- “no recording” DMP may be provided in the form of an audio signal, typically inaudible to human listeners, in connection with music or some other audio or audio/video reproduction.
- “no noise” or “no light” DMP may be provided to watches with audible alarms, shoes with lights (as sometimes worn by children, for example), cameras, flashlights, cell phones, PDAs, or any other device that may benefit from compliance with a “no noise” or “no light” DMP.
- DMPs may be used in particular zones to limit the speed and/or acceleration of vehicles, to require the use of lights, to verify an indication of insurance coverage and/or current registration, or the like.
- DMPs may be propagated with acceptable usage times for mobile devices, such as when on an airplane with being restrictions common at times of landing and/or take-off.
- DMPs may be used to cause devices to be reconfigured for silent operation in locations such as libraries, court rooms, hospitals, meeting rooms, theatres, or the like.
- DMPs may be the result of voting or a consensus among current members of an ad-hoc network or the like. For example, the majority of current bus riders may agree upon and propagate “silence please” DMPs that cause cell phones to reconfigure for vibrate versus audible rings, that cause audio devices to work only with headphones, that cause gaming devise to switch to a silent mode of operation, and the like.
I really like most of the ideas described in here. But I’m not sure about the need or even use of patenting it.
In order for the whole scheme to work, Microsoft will have get all major cellphone makers on board. And then do some serious footwork convincing third parties about buying additional equipment, needed to implement DMP. And there’s not much point of implementing the whole thing on WinMo devices, if iPhones, Nokias, and Blackberries do not care about it.
Still, I think it’s an interesting approach to a problem. As our devices are getting smarter and smarter, it would be nice to see them getting some manners and social sense too.
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