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Apple patent shows an elaborate method to auto adjust an iPhone’s volume, Apple Watch required

Posted: , by Paul K.

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Apple patent shows an elaborate method to auto adjust an iPhone’s volume, Apple Watch required

Smartwatches are still considered somewhat superfluous devices for the sole reason that they don’t do that much to enhance a smartphone user’s experience. Sure, they will vibrate on one’s wrist, making silent notifications in the office a viable option, and they will allow us to read short texts on their small screens, even offer the possibility for short replies. But that’s pretty much all they have going for them at the moment, aside from them doubling as activity trackers for those users that insist on hitting the daily goal of 9000 steps (though, most high-class smartphones count steps as well). Apple tried to add an extra layer of communication to them, by making it possible for Apple Watch owners to “tap” each other on the wrist (the Taptic engine on the receiving Watch vibrates with the intensity and frequency with which the sender tapped on their device) and send hand-drawn doodles to each other, but that wasn’t really widely adopted.

It’s only natural that manufacturers will continue to explore what’s possible with smartwatches, looking for ways to make them experience-expanding commodities, instead of smaller remote screens for our smartphones. What we see today is a patent, applied for by Apple, which may use the link between an Apple Watch and an iPhone to automatically adjust the latter’s volume levels in accordance with the current environment.

The patent outlines a few ways in which this can be done. The most straightforward one is that the Watch could use its mic at regular intervals to “listen in” on the current environment’s noise levels. Then, it would send that data to the iPhone and the latter would adjust its volume in accordance. Additionally, such “environment noise checks” can be done by the Watch whenever it’s prompted by the host (the iPhone), so it sounds to us that the handset could send such prompts each time it’s about to ring.

But the rabbit hole goes even deeper. The patent outlines a way in which the Watch would be able to determine whether the iPhone is in a bag, pocket, or otherwise away from the user. The outlined method would have both devices use their microphones to "listen" to the environment. The Watch will then send its data to the iPhone, who will in turn analyze both audio recordings, listening for various discrepancies and out-of-phase frequencies. After that's done, the handset will not only know how loud it needs to ring, but will also try to readjust the way it listens for the user's voice (possibly to help with Siri better understanding commands).

It sounds a bit twisted and tangled, especially for a simple thing such as setting one’s phone volume levels in accordance with whether we are in the office or on the street. Especially with the iPhone, this is rarely an issue, as most users keep it either on mute (vibrate only) or full-blast volume. But, of course, the fact that there is a patent for the technology most certainly doesn’t mean that it will be implemented anytime soon. For all we know, this could just be Apple brainstorming various solutions, and patenting them just in case it decides to use them.


source: USPTO via Ubergizmo

13 Comments
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posted on 11 Feb 2016, 08:44 3

1. janis (Posts: 310; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


great company with all that money and resources can invent this kind of BS, i mena all these so called inventions last years..

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 09:39 1

9. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)


What the hell are you talking about?

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 22:36

13. ibend (Posts: 4248; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


he just mena

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 08:51 7

2. shield (Posts: 257; Member since: 12 Sep 2015)


Ugly Watch.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 08:57 7

4. Unordinary (Posts: 1444; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Ugly Comment.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 09:22 5

5. janis (Posts: 310; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


i bet on my Seiko watch u own iphone and probably iwatch.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 09:33 3

7. Unordinary (Posts: 1444; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


You just lost your watch band because you're half wrong.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 09:38 4

8. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)


What the f*** is up with you lame Apple hating morons?

You can appreciate the design of a smartwatch while not being an Apple fanboy.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 10:12 3

10. Finalflash (Posts: 2867; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Yea but if someone finds it ugly then they can call it ugly. You don't have to like it, there's no obligation in experience.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 11:14 2

11. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)


I never said they couldn't. I'm specifically referring to Janis' idiotic comment

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 08:56 1

3. joevsyou (Posts: 768; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


because the phone itself doesn't have a mic no more

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 09:29 1

6. lyndon420 (Posts: 4143; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Ha...this is an attempt to sell some watches - that's it lol.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 11:19 2

12. Topcat488 (Posts: 1395; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)


While you turn up or down the smartphones volume Apple; I'll be making "calls" on my old, still beloved Samsung Gear S smartwatch!

P. S. This "patent is superfluous, and will NEVER be implemented, another moment of wasted R&D time. O.o

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