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Apple patent wants to automate your iPhone with "situational awareness"

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Apple patent wants to automate your iPhone with
This is not the first time that we've seen functionality like this planned for a smartphone, and it certainly won't be the last. A new Apple patent is showing that the company wants to automate more functions of your iPhone using "situational awareness". If you've been following our news, it's quite a lot like the Inconspicuous Mode patent that Microsoft filed a while back, or like automating many of the functions you'd find on Android using Tasker or Locale.

The idea is to automate certain functions based on "situational awareness". This means using all of those fancy sensors that your smartphone has to detect ambient light, force, temperature, ambient noise, and motion, then change certain settings accordingly. This could mean something as simple as dimming the screen and lowering the device volume when not in use, or to use Microsoft's example, dim the screen and turn off the sound when you enter a movie theater. 

The patent filing also calls up a bit of Google Now by saying that the feature would predict the user’s needs, and automatically perform whatever functions the user desires without having to select the menu options or activating a program. And, the feature would be completely customizable, letting the user create triggers like you would with Tasker or Locale. Given all of the analogies to other products used in this article, it's hard to say this is really something that deserved to receive a patent. 

source: USPTO via ValueWalk via BGR

25 Comments
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posted on 27 Feb 2013, 14:32 4

1. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1227; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


"he sees when you are sleeping , he knows when you're awake"

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 14:57 5

5. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5664; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


And knows when you been naughty or good

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 15:22 3

7. deadstroke (Posts: 113; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


A GOOD ONE LOL

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 19:47

20. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5664; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


lmao yep

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 14:38 3

2. tedkord (Posts: 3954; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Google leads.

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 17:10 2

12. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 2846; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Not the good kind of lead.

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 18:33 5

17. lyndon420 (Posts: 1642; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Google has a 'bad' lead? Please elaborate.

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 14:43 4

3. Kriksis (Posts: 76; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)


Seems a bit old considering Symbian phones have this as an app for about a year or so...

Search for "Situations" on Nokia Store...

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 14:52 4

4. ama3654 (Posts: 233; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)


OH Nooo!!! Apple stop patenting something that has been done before please, people have used this long time ago and no one has patented only for patent troll fruit to come and put a stop to innovation. USPTO beware!

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 01:05

24. jsdechavez (Posts: 676; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


This patent actually makes sense. I would be so relieved if those phones and tablets during concerts and events and special gathering gets their camera's shutoff before they could ruin my view or some confidentiality..

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 15:06 4

6. nikenturd (unregistered)


The USPTO should be aptly renamed to APTO since Apple has a complete control on them. Boy I miss the days when one cannot actually patent a color or shape....

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 15:29 4

8. _Bone_ (Posts: 2069; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Patenting what already exists, the worms are active again at Apple.

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 15:39 2

9. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


don't see the big deal if it is already patent they will get deny and move on.. if is not.. than shame on prev companies for not protecting their innovations... Apple has every right to apply for the patent..

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 16:05 2

10. darkkjedii (Posts: 9349; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Well said

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 17:48 2

15. joey_sfb (Posts: 1989; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Alas!! Apple fan are so trapped in the past.

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 16:45 4

11. Taters (Posts: 2403; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Shame on the previous companies for assuming their innovations are not worth patenting or if patented would curb the development of the concept? Apple fans are hilarious. Only they are okay with Apple patenting other people's work.

Of course it is a big deal. I wouldn't and shouldn't be allowed to patent a napkin go sue every restaurant I can. How is it not a big deal for Apple to do something similar with software?

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 17:22

13. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


you write like you know what is going on.. which you don't.. or can you show me proofs by the USPTO that already has been patented...

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 17:38 2

14. Taters (Posts: 2403; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Of course Apple fans do not know how to read either. Where did I mention anything about something already being patented by the USPTO? And why would you ask me for proof of something I never claimed?

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 18:54

18. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)


was refferiing to this comments

"Only they are okay with Apple patenting other people's work."

just ask for proof on this that you claim Apple patents other people's work....

ps.. u didn't claim it so will take it as your comment only with nothing to stand but your opinion..

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 19:25 1

19. Taters (Posts: 2403; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Sigh, you are not very smart are you. Apple patenting other people's work does not require that work to be patented in the first place. Which is exactly what Apple is doing here. Patenting other people's work that hasn't been patented yet.

So what are you talking about exactly with this crap about the USPTO?

My opinion is common sense, that it is not okay for companies like Apple to patent work that has been done before.

You saying that it is okay just makes you an Apple lover.

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 21:30 1

22. Taters (Posts: 2403; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Just so that you know exactly what you are saying, I'll reword it for you.

What's the big deal? Apple has every right to take credit for something that they did not invent. Shame on those previous companies for not taking credit for their inventions.

In what world is that okay? Oh yeah! Fruit world!

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 18:31

16. lyndon420 (Posts: 1642; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


This isn't a new concept by any means. But...kudos to the almighty fruit for trying to seem innovative. (anything to help raise their stock is a good thing)

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 19:55 2

21. dorianb (Posts: 336; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


The idea is to automate certain functions based on "situational awareness".
What happens when it "situationally" becomes aware that it's OS is ancient?

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 21:39

23. Izoe (Posts: 95; Member since: 02 Sep 2010)


I don't see any of the usual suspects complaining about copying, now that the shoe is on Apples foot. Double standard, Smh.

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 13:40

25. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


So, Apple is going try to patent another tech already created again. So, we should see lawsuits going out soon to other companies.

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