Definition

polite cell phone

A polite cell phone is a mobile telephone with built-in intelligence so that it adapts to its current environment and behaves appropriately.

Several corporations and engineering firms are working to develop a cell phone with a built-in, powerful microcomputer chip that acquires a sense, over time, of when the phone should respond to incoming calls and when it should remain quiet. According to engineers, the polite cell phone will employ artificial intelligence (AI) and will get smarter by learning from its owner's behavior. A polite cell phone might:

  • Determine at what times of day the user is least likely to answer calls and deactivate the phone at such times
  • Measure ambient illumination and activate or deactivate the phone on that basis
  • Detect driving data so the phone will not respond to calls if the driver is braking hard, manipulating other controls, or making numerous sharp turns
  • Prevent a call if the user is currently involved in a conversation or is in a location that is too noisy for effective telephone communication.

Larry Marturano, an engineer for Motorola, said that one of the primary motivations behind development is the desire to minimize instances in which cell phones embarrass their users and annoy others nearby.

This was last updated in February 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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