If I had the bug to be a serious inventor and entrepreneur, I’d try to build and market the following two-part device.
The first part is a docking station for mobile phones that automatically transfers any incoming calls to a specified number. The second part is a cell phone signal jammer that works within a given structure.
Who would use this, and why? Theaters, restaurants, spas, and any other places where the management has a vested interest in curtailing mobile phone use except for urgent situations. If you’re at dinner and your kids are with a babysitter, leave your phone with the maitre d’ and the restaurant staff will bring you a house phone if there’s an emergency. If you’re too wedded to your device to give it up, go right ahead, but don’t expect to get a signal unless you’re willing to go outside.
The net impact on customer satisfaction is unclear: The overall unhappiness of customers who are unhappy with the restrictions versus the overall happiness of everyone who knows they won’t be disturbed by someone else’s ring tone or conversation. Not unlike smoking restrictions in restaurants and bars, at least before they became law.