Slashdot mentioned a story in the Houston Chronicle about people fed up with inappropriate cellphone users utilizing detectors and jammers to disrupt communication between phones and “cell–sites”. This appears to be a viable option in certain places like churches and movie houses, where strict silence must be observed.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this more than a year ago, after going to several movies and hearing a ringing cellphone throughout the movie. Unfortunately, the detector & jammer combo has its downsides—both legal and technical, and the need for a better alternative continues.
My idea is the use of mobile “transmitters”, a device that can be placed inside a venue and send out a message to all phones in the vicinity as to what profile or setting it should be using. The phone must have the ability to instantly recognize such a notice and automatically switch to the required profile. I think this is a fairly straightforward feature that can be easily implemented by phone makers like Nokia and Ericsson using existing technologies like Bluetooth or WiFi, or even custom–formatted SMS. Also, the phone can have a setting you can switch on to override the venue’s “preset,” when you feel like you really need to. Sounds simple, right?