For as great as smartphones are, sometimes they’re really inconvenient. Case(s) in point: you’re in the middle of a very important job interview and your phone starts loudly ringing in your pocket because you forgot to put it on silent. Or, you’re at the movie theater and someone calls you and everyone’s attention diverts from the movie to your cell phone which you forgot to switch to vibrate. Or, lastly, you’re in the middle of an important meeting when your overly-annoying ringtone starts to sound off and everyone looks at you with surprise and wonder in their eyes. If smartphones are so smart, why can’t they just automatically know when to be silent? That’s the exact idea behind a new patent given to Microsoft last month.

Microsoft Patents A Theater Mode For Smartphones

It’s a new feature they’re calling “inconspicuous mode” for the time being, and the goal is for your smartphone to automatically realize when it’s in an environment that it needs to silence itself and/or dim the screen’s brightness.

For example, if it detects you’re at a certain ritzy restaurant, it’ll switch the phone to silent mode. Or, if it detects you’re at a movie theatre, it will do the same thing. Obviously, those features will probably be mostly GPS-driven, but Microsoft is also excited about how the feature on the phone will remember if you bought tickets, etc. (using your phone) for a certain time and date; once that time and date rolls around, your phone will supposedly shut itself up and dim its screen.

I have to admit that these features sound pretty neat, although many may feel like it’s an invasion of privacy and sense that they’re being tracked.

[Image via download3k]

SOURCE: Yahoo Tech