Friday, January 25, 2008

Open [Free] Phones


TANSTAFL - There ain't no such thing as free lunch. There better be 'Free Phones' ...

When you add GPS to a cellular telephone then the phone "knows" exactly where the owner is. Very quickly the cellular provider will begin to correlate the amount of time that a phone stays in a specific location. Further analysis will show patterns of 'phone behavior' - Jane Average's phone visits Starbucks locations Monday thru Friday at roughly the same time, just before work.

By monitoring (NOT Recording) the visible light and the infrared light via the 'camera' that is built-in the phone will know to alter brightness appropriate to where the owner is. More over this information gives the phone a bit more knowledge about the owners behaviors.

  • dark and cool = purse or backpack
  • dark and warm = pocket
By monitoring ambient noise (NOT recording, just monitoring environmental noise) the phone can alter the volume of the ring tone to better suit the owners current environment. This same Ambient Noise Level (ANL) can be correlated to the owner's environment. Certainly cars, buses, trains offer baseline ANLs that can be determined. The ANL of a single speakers voice some distance from the phone might tell the phone to vibrate in church instead of RINGING.

If the phone knows where the owner is and what the owner is likely doing then the cellular provider can 'target' advertisements for the phone's location. While Jane Average is most likely headed towards her morning coffee fix her phone might try to convince her to try Dunkin' Donuts ... which is just around the next corner, on the right...and here is an instant coupon for a complimentary pastry to go with your coffee.

All this is fair-use information. By fair-use I mean that it could have been gained by alternative legal means. But, the only way that I would cooperate with such a scheme is if the communication service (getting to talk on the phone) was provided free of charge. If I don't like the 'Free Phone' with all its little niggling ads then I am always free to purchase 'private' communication services and devices at the current market value.

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