He said he has created a personal game of "smartphone bowling" where he will walk directly at a person who is walking toward him on campus while that person is talking on a cell phone to see how long it takes for them to look up and turn away. If he bumps into them, it's a "strike," and if they turn away last minute, it is a "spare," he said, to laughter from the knowing grads.
Pocket dialing from a smartphone can be humorous or annoying, but the phenomenon also shows that mobile phone users are not locking their phones down with a passcode, Beauchere said. With the pocket dialing phenomenon, a pre-loaded phone number can be dialed when a person has the phone in a rear pocket and sits on it, or even when it gets jostled in a purse or briefcase. With a four digit passcode, random calls can be avoided.
Beauchere said she knows of pocket calls that have taken place while the unknowing caller was singing loudly along with the radio or having an intimate conversation with someone.
Microsoft found in a global online survey conducted last year with more than 10,000 desktop and mobile participants from 20 countries that just 28% said they use a PIN on a device, a number that increased to 37% in the U.S. (with 540 participants).
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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