CELL PHONE ETIQUETTE….The Economist reports on an effort to build cell phones that encourage polite behavior:
The first phone, called SoMo1, gives its user a mild electric shock, depending on how loudly the person at the other end is speaking. This encourages both parties to speak more quietly, otherwise the mild tingling becomes an unpleasant jolt. Such phones, the designers suggest archly, could be given to repeat offenders who persistently disturb people with intrusive phone conversations.
Yowza! That’s my kind of operant conditioning!
Sadly, though, “None of these phones is intended as a commercial product; the design team simply hopes to provoke discussion.” Still, now that we’ve taken care of cigarettes and alcohol, and are busily working on chocolate, can cell phones be far behind?