It looks Apple’s iDevices could someday become self-aware. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but a patent application published today by the USPTO does highlight Apple’s patent plans for the ability to bake “situational awareness” into their products.
So what exactly does this mean? The idea is that your iPhone or iPad could perform situation tasks based “on different conditions”. The patent was filed in September of 2011 and lays out the technology for mobile phones, media players and more.
Using embedded sensors, an Apple device could detect external noises, temperatures, lighting conditions, time of day and more, using that data to react appropriately. Going to bed? Your device could automatically lower the ring volume or perhaps even go into vibrate mode without any direct input from the user.
“The present invention relates to an intuitive portable electronic device that anticipates or predicts a user’s desires on how they would like use the portable electronic device,” reads the patent filing. “The portable electronic device is therefore ready to perform a user function when the user desires to perform the function. The user does not have to perform additional steps such as selecting menu options in a GUI or activating a button or switch.”
More than likely such a device would also get to “know you”, figuring out your habits, likes and dislikes and then would use that information to make ‘decisions’ on its own on how to best serve you.
Does this patent mean we will see this technology in a future iProduct? It is certainly possible, but sometimes these kinds of patents are more about protecting potential ideas from being stolen and never actually surface beyond the conceptual stages.
Still, if Apple makes this a reality, this could be one small step in the direction of truly “thought-capable” AI. Ipad control for robots today, world domination tomorrow.
What do you think of the patent, would you like to see something like this in future electronic devices or not? Share your thoughts below.