Monday, March 20, 2006

Cell Phones at the Movies

I just saw yet another article about movie theaters wanting to jam cell phones. For those unfamiliar, this would mean that while in a movie theater employing this technology, your cell phone would have "No Service".

Obviously there are problems with this. First, what if something bad happens? If there is an emergency and people cannot use their cell phones, try not to drown in the flood of lawsuits.

That's probably why jamming devices are illegal.

Other reasons apply to those that responsibly use their cell phones. When a phone is switched to silent, I don't care what you use it for. If you are texting away, checking email, playing Nibbles or whatever--if it isn't distracting from the movie, why should I care?

Finally, there is a better solution. I suggest that theaters, churches, etc. install devices that send out a signal, telling the phones to automatically switch to silent. This would be awesome.

Just imagine...you walk into church and your phone, being smart and sophisticated, silences itself. After you leave church, your phone reverts to your crappy Super Mario Brothers ringer or school fight song. Then, you swing by the theater to see a movie, and the phone silences itself again. Sweet!

Of course this method has its problems, too. First and foremost, this technology doesn't exist. This task would require cooperation among phone makers. Fortunately, the method used to signal the phones does exist in many newer phones, Bluetooth (short range communication).

Of course this solution does not address issues with people who actually talk on their cell phones during a movie. While jamming would work in that case, I think a swift kick to the temple would be better. That's exactly how Chuck Norris would handle the situation, anyway.