« Home | What's the longest movie ever made? » | What state do the Simpsons live in? » | How does one become a ninja? » | How is coffee decaffeinated? » | Whose voice is on the "please hang up and try agai... » | Can a person who is blind from birth "see images" ... » | Do you have to go to college to become a pro wrest... » | Why is Queen Elizabeth II's husband a prince rathe... » | What is Don McLean talking about in his song "Amer... » | How many different currencies are there in the wor... » 

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

How do cell phones vibrate?

In the same way that we can only dimly grasp how airplanes fly and boats float, cell phones baffle us. Of course, our ignorance doesn't stop us from shouting into them each and every day. And since most of us use cell phones, the least we can do is set them to vibrate rather than subject folks to obnoxious ringtones.

To explain how the vibrations happen, How Stuff Works performed an autopsy on one ill-fated Tickle Me Elmo. The doll uses a shaking technology that's exactly the same as a cell phone's, though considerably larger. (Those queasy about Muppet innards should stop reading here.)

Here's what they found: A flywheel motor with a weight is attached to one side. When the motor turns, the weight throws it off balance and creates a wobble. That wobble causes the whole device, be it a friendly plush monster or a sleek cell phone, to jiggle.

Now, ask yourself something: Have you ever tried to answer your phone when it vibrates, only to find it's not actually moving (or even on)? If so, you may have had close encounters with a new phenomenon -- the phantom cell phone vibration. Perhaps you're hoping for a call just a little too fervently. Perhaps your muscles are twitching. To be honest, we're not sure. But to be on the
safe side, maybe it's time you call an exorcist (on a landline, of course).

Add to: Oneview Add to: Folkd Add to: Yigg Add to: Linkarena Add to: Digg Add to: Del.icio.us Add to: Reddit Add to: Simpy Add to: StumbleUpon Add to: Slashdot Add to: Netscape Add to: Furl Add to: Yahoo Add to: Spurl Add to: Google Add to: Blinklist Add to: Blogmarks Add to: Technorati Add to: Newsvine Add to: Blinkbits Add to: Ma.Gnolia

Share on Facebook Read the whole Blog

Receive post updates by Email