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Ben there done that

Pocket dialing solution shared

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I used to pocket dial people from time to time. I always felt bad about it, and there seemed to be nothing that would fix the problem. Then one day a solution occurred to me.   

First, you need to know how touchscreens on phones work. Most smartphones today use capacitive touchscreens. These screens don’t respond to pressure but rather the changes in electrical conductivity across their surfaces. Your skin is naturally covered in moisture and salt, making it an excellent conductor of electricity. Your finger will trigger the screen but the end of a plastic pen won’t. This technology is what has allowed touchscreens to be extremely fast and responsive. 

Why does pocket dialing happen if your phone’s screen is only affected by conductive materials and skin? The lining in pockets, often a thin fabric, is a factor in the problem. Although the lining is not a good electrical insulator, your skin’s conductivity is often able to penetrate through it. And, the lining absorbs the moisture and salt from your body. This greatly reduces the insulating properties of the fabric, causing contact between your leg and the phone’s screen, so it’s very likely that one of your contacts will get dialed by accident. 

What can be done to stop this? Actually, the solution is pretty simple. When placing your phone in your pocket, flip it over so the screen is facing away from you. With no leg contact on the other side of the fabric, your phone won’t be making any pocket calls. It takes time to get in the habit of doing this, but once you do, you will no longer suffer the embarrassment of the pocket dialing.

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