Microsoft files patent application for "Quiet Time" feature

Microsoft files patent application for
Microsoft has filed a patent application for a system that can be used to prevent a teenager's phone from making phone calls while behind the wheel of a moving car, or prevent audio from coming out of the speakers of a phone inside a movie theater. Called "Quiet Time," the feature could prevent phone calls from being made during certain times of the day, or while at certain locations.

Based on diagrams from the patent application, a block could be placed on a phone based on a certain time period. The example in one diagram shows a phone in "Quiet Time" from 11pm to 7am, while calls would be allowed only to Mom or Dad or to 911. "QuietTime" might also be implemented in houses of worship, movie theaters or businesses and those walking into such locations could find their phones' audio and communication features disabled while in the affected location. The feature would be disabled when a quieted device bumps with the main mobile device.

In another scenario, parents could set up the "Quiet Time" function before their child gets into the car and drives. One setting could lock the phone and prevent phone calls from being made or received and will unlock when the driver pulls over. A motion sensor would determine if the phone is in a moving vehicle. Calls to Mom or Dad or 911 only, would be allowed. Other options lock a teen driver's phone if the parents are not in the car while a more experienced teen driver might be allowed to use the phone using hands-free technology.

Microsoft filed this application with the USPTO in Q4 of 2012 which means we have no idea when this technology might actually be seen on a Windows Phone.

source: USPTO via PatentBolt, WMPoweruser



1. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

This is a good idea, but I don't think it should receive a patent. Cynaogenmod literally has the same "quiet hours" settings that does the exact same thing. Actually, this feature has been embedded in the ROM since 2010. Just goes to show how stuffed up the patent system is.

3. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

You're just mad because it would be implemented on a WP device.. Tell me something.. What's your OS of choice❔ Because I haven't seen you on one Android, or iPhone related article today.. Yet in still you appear on every WP, MS, or Nokia related article with something negative to say everytime.. It would be OK if you gave credit where credit is due, but you've obviously got a pathetic chip on your shoulder.. Now, I understand that you may not find anything to give credit to, but by now everyone knows that, and you don't have to keep convincing us that you don't want to buy a WP device... Why do you waist your breath❔... Like I said last time.. You really want a WP device, it's just that you're to afraid of what your friends will think because it's not "popular"... So what's going to be your next device❔ Is it definitely going to be a WP device, or is it going to be Android.. And, I don't want to hear a bunch of besides the point BS. Just answer the question.. Either answer the questions, or just admit that you come on these related articles just to ruin it for the fans... Those are your only options❕

4. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

I'm not mad, I'm simply telling the truth. I have used that feature for a long time now (search up cyanogenmod quiet hours). And as for my preferred OS, Android is it, though I'm welcome to change if there is a better one. And I'm not irrationally bashing WP8, (I did say this feature was a good idea) I'm simply pointing out its flaws. After all, I used to bash Android and think that Windows tablets were the way forward. It's good to express an opinion, and I might just get an RT device if the original surface has a firesale. Oh, and I don't care what is popular and what isn't, I just use what suits me.

5. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Ok, fair enough.. But, we'll see.. We got our eyes on you, boi❕

6. Reality_Check

Posts: 277; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Okkkaaaayyyy... When did you become the universal watchdog? I thought that was NSA's job !!

13. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

A long, long, time ago. Do you have a point❔

15. tedkord

Posts: 17409; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nobody is mad that its going to be on a WP device. We don't like stolen ideas being given patent protection, so that the originators can be either banned or extorted for their own idea.

7. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Then again, Nokia's ancient dumbphones had multiple profiles that could be activated at certain time periods. Oh poor Microsoft. Trying to patent stuff to make a case to patent troll Android OEMs for money. Too bad they already have all the prior art to invalidate it. Oh, there is a new feature about it being location based perhaps, but that isn't really a novel invention or something non obvious to someone skilled in the arts to implement. AKA a software patent.

11. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

There are limitations to the prior art argument. You ever heard of a mouse-trap. The prior art didn't stop a second guy from making a better mouse-trap. "Quiet Time" the idea may not be new, but how MicroSoft approaches this idea has to involve a different method or process. People are still building mouse- traps, prior art notwithstanding.

23. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

I don't think you know what you are talking about. If you build a better mouse trap then it follows that you did something new and novel and thus, no prior art existed. You can then patent your innovation, not withstanding still having to deal with the original patent if such exists. Nothing here in MS patent is new or novel in any way.

19. taikucing unregistered

Calm down, dude. No need to be angry. MS may patent it. But this feature will become a free app or mod in android. So, MS can't sue anyone. In android, I can use the stupid chess board launcher like WP8 but WP8 can't use android like launcher. Understand? yes.

22. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Dude whether it is going to WP or not, that should not be the reason for you to fire up like a chimney. The feature surely does not deserve a patent, it is already in existence as explained above.

9. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

my n9 has an app called situations one of this app's many features is similar to this patent so yeah i agree with you ! on how it shouldn't be patented !

2. ShenAlJoker

Posts: 113; Member since: Jul 19, 2013

No no no no no nooooooooooooooo! Don't do that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

The question is, who controls this app/feature? I don't like the thought of anyone blocking my access to my phone. I hope at the very least it can be disabled by the account owner.

10. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Good feature but should be controlled by owner when required.

12. spectrums

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 14, 2013

Microsoft Failur Selling Phone, So His Selling Patent Now :)

20. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

"The feature would be disabled when a quieted device bumps with the main mobile device." Wut? The quieted device bumps with... main mob... ile... device? Wut? I really don't understand that sentence. Also: "In another scenario, parents could set up the "Quiet Time" function before their child gets into the car and drives." Lol, driving children. Maybe it's the time (4:30 am), but that cracked me up.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.