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Smarter Phones Coming Soon 145

cofaboy writes "Down at Vulture Central there's an article regarding the next generation of smart phones. These things will learn to nag you if you try drinking too much the night before, learn who your friends are via bluetooth and more. "
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Smarter Phones Coming Soon

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  • Your mom (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:41AM (#10922875)
    I thought nagging about how much you drank last night was one's mother's job, using the phone...
    • Re:Your mom (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Why waste a phone call when she can just come down to the basement and yell and you in person?
  • by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:42AM (#10922881) Homepage Journal
    I wouldn't want these logs (plus a location chart) to fall into the wrong hands :)

    Privacy is a concern the second you send it to a server ....
    • Indeed. First they know where you are, now they're trying to find out what you have been doing, and if the project would succeed they would even know what you *will be* doing later on...
    • by malsbert ( 456063 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:01AM (#10922956)
      would never happen! companys take care not to disclose personal information about there custermers!

      damn this is goooood weed! where was i? nevermind...
    • That's why there will always probably be a bigger market for Dumb Phones(tm).
      • Dumb Phone: Duh? Hello... no, Bob's not here...

        Bob: You idiot, I'm right over here! Who's on the line? Hello? (pause) They hung up. Who was it?

        Dumb Phone: Some dude.

        Bob: Which dude? What did he say?

        Dumb Phone: I think it was an Ira... and an Audrey? I don't know.

        Bob: Did he leave a number?

        Dumb Phone: I didn't have a pencil.

        Bob: You don't need a pencil, you can record the message, you idiot!

        Dumb Phone: I can't figure out which button is "record."

        Bob: Who designed your software, anyway?

        Dumb Ph
    • by Enix ( 244481 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:46AM (#10923103)
      The scary part is that you might not know when you're being 'tracked'... Say one of your friends gets the phone but you don't know it's a smarty-pants phone. If they hang around with you a lot of the time suddenly They know where you are.

      I just find it strange that in time of security paranoia we still seem to broadcast so much information about ourselves without thinking about it. For example, I bought a set of headphones the other day and was asked my phone number and post code (zip code). Now why do they need to know that?
      • Now why do they need to know that?

        Because its very valuable for targeting demographics by area. By tying all of the information together they can find out all sorts of crazy things (like I think people buy more ice cream during hurricanes or something crazy, see the slashdot article about walmart data mining).

    • While I'll agree that there's cause for concern about privacy, the whole system strikes me as a user friendly front end for accessing information that the cellphone companies likely already collect. Who you called? Obviously. Where you called from? Signal strength and tower location, at the very least. Who you're connecting with? Absolutely. Letting consumers get more out of this is cause to raise an eyebrow, but don't start putting on the tinfoil hats quite yet.
    • I think the tinfoil hat types might want to delve into Signalling System number 7. (SS7 - CCCIT7)

      It's a pretty complicated beast, but with access to the stream in a few key locations, your mobile telephone already gives away a metric crapload of information about the user.

      (Tinfoil hat weenies)
      'But my phone uses an encrypted signal!'

      Yeah, well, that little micowave dish on the cell station 'does not'. GSM vocoders aren't too complicated to figure out.

      Think big database, and multiple SS7 inputs.

      Google is
  • by dupper ( 470576 ) <> on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:43AM (#10922885) Journal
    Aha: I don't have any friends.

    Take that, Big Brother!

  • Bah (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:43AM (#10922886)
    Isnt a wife good enough for this?
    • For people like me who spend all day on slashdot and dont have a wife or girlfriend
    • No, the licensing costs are excessive and there are some serious instability bugs that need working out. They never, ever, suffer from memory leaks though - especially if it relates to something you said in 1987 about her arse looking big in those jeans.
      • Re:Bah (Score:3, Funny)

        Also, the license is usually terminated as soon as you try a competitor's product. And then in most cases you'll still have to pay license fees after your license was terminated. And even if cou manage to keep your license, the functionality will be severely reduced.
    • Re:Bah (Score:3, Funny)

      by EricKoh ( 669058 )
      Cool gadget! I'll train the handphone to nag at every little thing and then give it to my wife. Revenge of the Geek Husband... Sweeeet...
  • by Mycroft_VIII ( 572950 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:44AM (#10922888) Journal
    After all what are 7 megapixels and smarts good for if the thing can't help you spot someone atractive, just so long as it learns its' OWNERS preferences, and not some factory default.(shudder)

  • That's one more potential privacy breach. Why do we even bother with that term anymore?
  • by thegoogler ( 792786 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:45AM (#10922894)
    but thats just a little freaky, i mean it monitors pratically your whole fucking life? "Dave, its your girlfriends birthday. buy her this type of chocolates from this store and your cahnce of getting layed goes up 36.4%" wait.. thats actually a good idea... nvm..
  • not buying one (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TLouden ( 677335 )
    seriously, i've got enought trouble when my family does that stuff, so why whould a buy a phone that is better at doing it?
  • by imroy ( 755 ) <> on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:47AM (#10922902) Homepage Journal
    Will it advise you not to ring your ex when you've had too many drinks?
    • Re:When drunk... (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      New phones will detect if you are drunk while typing SMS messages (amount of typos, speed of typing etc.). After the phone decides you are drunk it makes it impossible for you to communicate with your ex-girlfriend/wife etc. I KNOW this will be implemented in the near future!
      • I KNOW this will be implemented in the near future!

        It is on the testing phace, all that the engineers are lacking at the moment is a testing engineer with a (ex-)girlfriend.
    • Bah, where's your sense of adventure?!

      That's half the fun of getting drunk in the first place!
    • Will it advise you not to ring your ex when you've had too many drinks?
      Actually it will automatically text your ex with a "See what you got me into by ditching me? Please, please, come and pick me up at [longitude]/[latitude]"
    • Re:When drunk.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fizze ( 610734 )
      ....those location tracks together with a alcohol-breath track and statistics of your bank account could prove indeed useful.....

      ....the next day. ;)
    • Yes, and the built-in camera will have a date evaluation program to advise you when you've had too much. Friends don't let friends date drunk.
    • This is a feature I've been wanting for some time. Implement a breath analyzer and allow you to put people you want to shield from raging alcoholic outbursts into special groups which are unavailable until the light is green.

      I have the habit of deleting certain numbers before I start drinking, but even my old drunken mind has started involuntarily memorizing some of the numbers. I need parenting in my pocket.

      Also, I'd like a phone that has the sense to timestamp when you enter new names into the phonebook
  • Nah... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zog The Undeniable ( 632031 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:47AM (#10922906)
    Predictive texting is crap (everyone I know turns it off) so I can't see this being much better. Now a *really* smart phone would recognise telemarketing calls and refuse to ring, or just play a recorded message telling them you're dead.
    • Re:Nah... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trillan ( 597339 )

      It's funny. I only know three people who turn predictive text off, and two of them type in foreign languages for which prediction is not available. The third has had a cell phone since texting was available.

      I think it's a lot like anything else. The good ideas don't actually win people over, it's just that the people stuck on the old ideas die out sooner or later and aren't replaced.

    • Re:Nah... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KronicD ( 568558 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:19AM (#10923009) Homepage
      I use preditive text, it's alot faster for me, the casual SMS user. For those excessive types that never stop sending text messages it is probly slower. However for those who look at the keys etc, it is alot faster.

      As for filtering calls, my current nokia can do that (6610), by setting different caller groups with different ringtones (or no ringtones).
    • Re:Nah... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Urkki ( 668283 )
      • Predictive texting is crap (everyone I know turns it off) so I can't see this being much better. Now a *really* smart phone would recognise telemarketing calls and refuse to ring, or just play a recorded message telling them you're dead.

      In my experience, those who think predictive input are either

      a) SMS addicts who type 20cps the old way with closed eyes and have repetitive stress injury in their thumbs

      b) too dumb to learn the new way well enough to make it faster than the old way, or even too dumb to

      • Also depends on brand AND model, my Siemens would use smart editing faster than my current Motorola. I'd say 3 times faster
      • Re:Nah... (Score:3, Funny)

        by tcr ( 39109 )
        The only good thing about predictive text is the unpredictable messages, especially if the sender is in a hurry.

        Hence, from the gf, things like "see you in a monument" and "duck off you tanker".

        Personally, I always use mobile phones with keyboards, partially to piss people off by sending 160 chars with punctuation and capitalisation quicker than they can thumb stab 80 chars of txt spk, yu no wht I mn?
      • > But trust me, if you write any number of messages, learning the new way is worth it.

        Really? See, such clever (even patronizing) analysis like yours is the reason people dislike predictive texting. The designers are smart and the users are stupid?
        If they actually considered what people need, they wouldn't have made it that way. (And it's not only that - it's quite unbelievable how bad phone software is, despite the fact how many generations of phones we've been thru).

        I use a lot of swear words, foreig
    • Re:Nah... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by martyn s ( 444964 )
      Predictive text is great it works really well, you just have to know how to add words to the dictionary and know how to cycle through words. For example, if you typed G-A-M-E you have to know how to cycle through the available words to get the word "game" if your phone thinks you want the word "hand". Predictive text is great unless you don't know how to use it.
    • Now that's actually a good idea. Filter with scripting to write all kinds of fancy rules like "don't ring calls other than VIP from 2200 to 0900" etc. No, simple phonebook groups won't do.
    • Predictive texting isn't crap, T9 is crap.

      Check out much simpler, faster text entry [] in 5K of code!

    • I can type about 45WPM using T9.

      I can type over 100WPM on a normal keyboard though...

  • nag you if you try drinking too much...

    What is this phone, my liver?
  • I'd much rather have smarter users...
    • No mod points today so I'll just have to add a me-to post. (If I had them it'd be insightful, that's one of those 'so obvious everyone missed it and now feels stupid' observations)

  • Interesting but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roxtar ( 795844 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:51AM (#10922924) Homepage Journal
    Is it the smart phone which is predicting the owner's behaviour? According to the article it seems that the smart phone just acts as an intermediary which sends data to a server for processing. So actually the real smart stuff is being done at a server by some other program rather than by the phone itself.
    • Re:Interesting but (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cofaboy ( 718205 )
      Yes, it's the server that does the processing, the phone is gathering all the information via your calender, appointment book and B/T connections.

      Don't blame me for the write up, it got mullered by the editors
    • Yes... it's a server
      It's name is Skynet....
      Start Terminator Theme as realisation dawns
      It's happening.....
  • by snaphu ( 412871 ) <`ee.toh' `ta' `uhpans'> on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:52AM (#10922926)
    I can see it now: "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Dave"
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Mixed Sci-Fi quotes do not compute! Overload! *BZZZZZZZZZT*
    • I have this haunting image of a TV interview with HAL, 20 years after the events:

      Interviewer: What do you think about Dave's reaction?
      HAL: Well, you know, Dave always exaggerated...
  • If their system relies on plain bluetooth identification it crumbles down as soon as the first person buys a new phone.

    This could be fixed with additional software, but it would seriously limit the user base. And what good would it be then?

    And it would also require that people keep bluetooth always on. Good bye battery life. Welcome bluetooth worms.

    Nice idea, though.

  • does that mean my cell phone is going to replace my girlfriend?
  • by cubicledrone ( 681598 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:02AM (#10922958)
    and the snap... phone owner drops back and rolls right with five receivers in the pattern, throws a LONG SIDELINE PASS

    WHAM!! No more nagging phone.

    • To analogise, for those of us who don't know anything about what I presume is gridiron football:

      The bowler charges in, phone cunningly concealed with his left hand. He delivers a vicious bouncer, but the batsman is on to it in a flash. He swivels into a hook, catching the phone with the meat of his bat and sending it over the west stand. Six more!

      WHAM!! No more nagging phone.
  • will this thing use? will it "talk" to smart beer cans through RFID? or something embeded in your mouth? fillings perhaps? we have voice recognition. why would we need such things?

    only thing i know is most /.ers cells will commit suicide at our lack of friends, unless we get *nix running on it first.

    i guess it dosn't matter because let's face it, it's a GIMMICK to boost SALES. and in practice will suck.
    • SO you're saying that the MIT graduate students spent a good portion of their time developing a GIMMICK?

      I guess it's possible but the conjecture would be more believable if the graduate students were from a school like UCLA or maybe Carnegie Mellon...

  • by pair-a-noyd ( 594371 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:07AM (#10922973)
    Let's all just replace ourselves with machines then die out. Hell, we're moving towards a Cylon future anyway.. Might as well get it over with..
  • by kbrannen ( 581293 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:09AM (#10922978)
    The New Scientist reports possible applications include reminding you not to drink too much the night before an important presentation. Some people might balk as the idea of being monitored - and nagged - by their personal technology. But US scientists reckon they've hit on a winner.

    Bzzzz, wrong! This is not a winner. My cell phone is used to call people and for them them to call me. It is not a PDA, that is a separate device. It's also not a web browser, a camera, nor a music player. These devices are separate for a reason: so I can use them all only when I want, so I can upgrade them when I feel like, and if one of them breaks (or gets lost) then they are not all gone. Also, I can buy the individual devices much more easily because I'd buy only 1 a month, rather than having to buy the very expensive all-in-1 device; and who says they'll even have all the right features anyway?

    So this causes me to need a little more pocket space or belt space to carry multiple devices. That's OK, I rarely have more than 2 of them with me at once anyway.

    • I wouldn't exactly call them expensive. I got my bluetoothed, mp3/ogg playing, photo taking, web browsing, email reading/sending, note taking, handwriting recognising, etc SonyEricsson P800 for the princely sum of £30 last year. It wasn't a dodgy shop, just a deal with a contract on Orange.
      Admittedly, I'd be screwed if I lost it. But that's what backups are for. If it decides to go walkies, then sync all my contacts from the PC to a spare phone and off I go again.
    • I prefer having all-in-1 devices build as cell phone. I carry that with me all the time, so it is a lot easier to have everything else with me.

      I don't need to carry around a PDA, camera, CD-player, radio or any other stuff that I have build in to cell phone.

      Of course PDA does many of the same things and most of them better than cell phone, but that is just extra things to carry. Same with camera and radio and mp3, I really don't need them, but if I'm stuck somewhere and need something to do for a while, l
  • ... you have problems in your work/boss, your suspects your wife having an adventure, someone stole your car, and you are so much tired of all and want a drink, but your shiny new cellphone complains about you drinking too much. That attitude of the cell phone can be called anything, but not "smart" ("suicidal tendencies" could be a better description)
  • by EricKoh ( 669058 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:13AM (#10922999)
    These things will learn to nag you if you try drinking too much the night before

    Actual article said:

    The New Scientist reports possible applications include reminding you not to drink too much the night before an important presentation.

    Sheesh.. I was under the impression that the phone had a built in breathalyzer.. and perhaps a 'Bad Breath Scale' showing on the LCD as your work day progresses...
  • by laughingcoyote ( 762272 ) <barghesthowl@e x c> on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:16AM (#10923002) Journal

    "Are you too stupid to think for yourself? Worry no more, the Megacorp model XL69 will take care of all of that for you!"

  • by salvorHardin ( 737162 ) <adwulf@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:38AM (#10923072) Journal
    I'm sorry I forget our anniversary, honey... my phone got rooted by some elite regiment of North Korean hackers, who wiped out the reminder and replaced it with a 'to-do' stating that I was supposed to have a meeting with somebody called 'Lusty Linda' at the local tittie bar. I thought it seemed a little strange at the time, but, oh well - the phone knows best... or so I thought until Linda dropped her pants and revealed her real name to be Linford. I'll have to upgrade to SP2 sometime soon, but I'm running Google PDA-Search, and I don't think the two work together. Sorry babe...
  • by arasinen ( 22038 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:42AM (#10923084)
    I just want my phone to work like a regular phone. Is that too much to ask? I just want the basic features. You know, a phone that can make phone calls, has calendar, voice recognition, camera, ability to install additional software and a Python interpreter.

  • A phone that replaces the need for full time interaction with women.
  • by Federico2 ( 792815 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:58AM (#10923135)
    When we'll see a completely open-source phone OS?
  • How does this thing know when you're drinking? Monitor if you go into a bar? (GPS or other types of locator technology is easily built into a cell phone, so this isn't outside the realm of possibility.) Now, if you're in an accident later on, can that be later subpoenaed and used against you in court?

  • ugh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ErikZ ( 55491 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @06:17AM (#10923185)

    I don't want more features, I want to be able to afford it!

    The latest Sony Ericson phone is something I'd love to have. I'd also love to have a laptop, and it costs about the same.
  • Fading fad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tezza ( 539307 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @06:29AM (#10923215)
    Remember Tamagochi []??

    The original 'smart' agent responding in a semi lifelike manner. There's also the Aibo et alia.

    But the first thing people are going to learn about this technology is how to turn it off in the rom.

    With ever decreasing margins set aside for innovation, I predict the budget for value-adds that cost a lot of money, like Usability testing and embedded AI agents will shrink. At least they will when the marketting departments figure out that people don't really base their purchasing decisions on those metrics.

    The mobile market is still reeling and trying to cope with the lack of interest in 3G Video calling and MMS. People will drop £200 for a Blackberry which deals mostly in Text over GPRS. They only pick a 3G handset because the carriers have slashed their prices to loss making.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If they could do intelligent call answering, I'd buy them.

    Sales people: go away (or your choice of *** off)
    Mom: "ok mom" every 5 minutes or so
    Wife: "yes dear" every 5 minutes or so
    Children: "no you can't have XXX"
    Mistress: Connecting your call now ....

    And before the flames start I know real geeks don't have wives, children or mistresses ....
  • They could come with an integrated smart card reader, that way you could insert your national identity card and have your 'phone automatically grass you up if you do anything the government (gubmint in the US?) says you shouldn't.
  • Awesome (Score:5, Funny)

    by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @06:41AM (#10923246)
    This is exactly what everyone needs, a digital mom!

    Perhaps it can nag you to clean your desk, mow the lawn, and take the garbage out too.
  • If my phone does all the thinking who needs me?
  • Doom Mod (Score:1, Funny)

    by Shadow_139 ( 707786 )
    I will only be good if somebody find a way of modding Doom II running on the phone to interact with it....
    haha..., "All you Friends are Dead"

    "Clutch my testes, bloody squirrel humpers!!" -Happy Noodle Boy
  • by mr_z_beeblebrox ( 591077 ) on Friday November 26, 2004 @09:22AM (#10923774) Journal
    In Soviet America, Bluetooth learns You
  • I was going to say something else here, but when looking up the correct spelling for, "Luddite" in my dictionary, (the paper one beside my desk, 'natch), I read the entry. . .

    Lud~dite (lud'ït) In English industrial history, any or a band of workmen who joined in riots (1811-16) to wreck new textile machinery in the belief that its introduction reduced wages and increased unemployment. [. . .]

    Hm. Turns out they were only partly right. As a result of new technology, people started demanding more i

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!