New Apple Patents: iPhone IM Chat And Auto Adjusted Volume Control

Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published some sixteen Apple patents, some through the names of their own engineers. Amongst these patents were two very cool ideas in respect to a signet based security system and a new way to control some iPhone features like voicemail through simple finger swiping motions across the backside camera.

New day, new Apple patent: IM Chat. The patent shows that Apple wants to implement a new iPhone application dedicated to instant messaging. The interface will be similar to the one of messaging.app but we don’t know which services will be supported. It will probably be an optimized version of iChat.

This patent introduces us to a new automatic volume adjuster for the iPhone. In the future, when you pull the iPhone away from your ear, for whatever reason (as indicated in the graphic above), the volume will simply increase so that you don’t miss a word. Apple will apply one of two methodologies to achieve this result.

Apple’s present invention relies on automatic detection of device proximity to the user to adjust one or more acoustic transducers. For example, if the device is a mobile telephone, and the user is using the receiver and holding the telephone against his/her ear, if the telephone detects that the user has moved the telephone further from his/her ear, the telephone will raise the receiver volume. Similarly, if the user is using the speaker, the telephone will adjust the speaker volume as user distance from the telephone changes.

In another embodiment the telephone may fade between the receiver and the speaker. In such an embodiment, if the user, e.g., starts with the device near his face, the device could use the receiver output. As the user begins to move the telephone further away, the telephone will detect the decreased proximity and increase the receiver volume. Eventually, as the proximity decreases further, the telephone will switch from the receiver to the speaker, starting out at a lower speaker volume and increasing the speaker volume as the distance increases. The reverse would happen if while in speaker mode the distance to the user decreases.

You can read more on PatentlyApple.



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