Microsoft has just received a patent for automatically silencing a phone or other mobile device when entering a movie theater or other entertainment facility. Apple, buy a license for this from Microsoft if you have to, but make it happen on the iPhone!
You’ll have Normal Mode and Theater Mode – kind of like Airplane Mode, but switched on automatically, right when you walk in the door – and how dare you think you should have sound on your phone during The Hobbit.
There is also an “Inconspicuous” mode that will turn your phone’s sound off, and turn screen brightness down to near zero levels. You’ll still receive notifications, but they won’t disturb those around you. You’ll have a large clock on the screen in this mode, with basic info on the same screen.
In order to turn on the mode when you enter a theater, your phone would use your GPS location, calendar events, and Bluetooth beacons such as Apple’ iBeacon.
The beacon solution would likely be the most efficient, as your device would still be active in order to use it to purchase tickets or refreshments via a mobile payments system such as Apple Pay, but would go into “Theater Mode” when you entered the actual auditorium your movie is showing in.
This is all merely at the patent, “pie-in-the-sky” development point at the moment, but damn, I want to see this as soon as possible on EVERY mobile device made. Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and all you other phone makers, make it so!