Vibrating a Windows Phone, fun version

It’s really easy to vibrate a phone from your code. You can do it whenever you like, just don’t overdo it.

VibrateController vibrate = VibrateController.Default;

That’s all you have to do if you want to vibrate the phone for a second. But, what if you want do vibrate several times, with pauses? For example, vibrate for 100 ms, then pause 100 ms, then vibrate again for 200 ms etc? Send yourself a SMS – they don’t do a single vibration, that’s not fun or fancy.

The first idea that comes to mind is to use DispatcherTimer. Vibrate once, start a timer. When it ticks, vibrate again. But that quite annoying, especially if you want to do a short vibration three or four times.

So, here is an idea:

public static void Vibrate(params double[] intervals)
    System.Threading.ThreadStart vibrateJob = 
        new System.Threading.ThreadStart(() => _vibrate(intervals));
    System.Threading.Thread vibrateThread = 
        new System.Threading.Thread(vibrateJob);
private static void _vibrate(params double[] intervals)
    VibrateController vc = VibrateController.Default;

    bool vibrateOn = false;
    foreach (double interval in intervals)
        TimeSpan i = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(interval);

        if (!vibrateOn) vc.Start(i);
        vibrateOn = !vibrateOn;

I’m putting a vibration in a separate thread and using Thread.Sleep to produce a pause. Usage syntax is pretty straightforward: when calling a method, use as much as parameters you want – even ones will define a vibration time (in seconds) and the odd ones will be transformed to pauses. For example, if you want to vibrate for 0.2 secs, than have a pause of 0.1 secs, and then vibrate once more for 0.3 secs, call the method like this:

Vibrate(0.2, 0.1, 0.3);

A few notes about vibrating:

  • the shortest vibration / pause is 0.1 seconds
  • the longest is 5 seconds, but please don’t use it
  • there is no sense in having more than 4 vibration in one sequence, 3 is optimal
  • 0.1 seconds in nice for taps
  • 0.2 and 0.3 seconds are good choices for an alert

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