Despite the standard, stern command to attendees to turn off their mobile phones and wireless devices at a concert, lecture, religious service, etc., some persons always forget. Remembering to do tedious tasks should be unnecessary. Smart phones could supply an automatic courtesy setting.
Smart phones could have a courtesy mode that would shut the phone off in response to an electronic silence signal. The individual user would be free to use the courtesy mode, or not use it. The user could also over-ride the courtesy mode in an emergency or in response to an irresistible impulse to be obnoxious.
Location-based mobile phone management would have broader applications. Some users might prefer no wireless calls at home in the evening. Others might prefer no calls on their personal mobile while they are at their workplace. Rather than requiring users to change continually the state of their phones according to location-based preferences, smart phones could implement location rules directly.
Mobile phone service providers now compete to provide more extensive geographic coverage. With relatively good geographic coverage across service providers, that competition can create little additional user value. Competition in location-based mobile phone management offers greater possibilities for creating user value and effectively differentiating services. Location-based, managed-access to mobile phones is already being developed to address the problem of contraband cell phones in prisons and jails. This sort of technology potentially has wider and more general applications.