New Apple iPhone patent changes settings based on location

For those of you who may be Apple iPhone users or thinking of becoming we have some information about a new iPhone patent that changes settings based on location. We’re not about to claim that this may feature in the iPhone 5, expected to be unveiled in another couple of weeks, but it’s certainly a possibility at some point down the line for iPhone users and it’s interesting stuff indeed.

Some readers may already know that iOS 6, Apple’s next mobile operating system, is due to be released to the public next month and the iPhone 5 should launch running it. Regular readers may remember an article we wrote back in June about our wish list for iOS 6 and one of the features mentioned was for location-based profiles and actions that would enable your phone to automatically customize settings for different locations. Further to this we reported on news that iOS 6 could feature location check-ins via Yelp in the new Apple Maps app. It seems that Apple is already looking further ahead than this though and the patent could signal the future inclusion of dynamic location-aware settings.

A report on Apple Insider tells of a plethora of new Apple patents and one of these patents relates to wireless device “enforcement policies.” This U.S. patent, number 8,254,902, listed as “Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device,” would theoretically mean that customized alert profiles for various circumstances could be set up, to avoid for example those sticky situations where your iPhone rings in the funeral home or at the theater. Methods to enable these settings would be through WLAN communication, GPS and cellular triangulation to create a phone that would be “situationally aware.”

The policy enforcement capability is described in the patent as, “useful for a variety of reasons, including for example to disable noise and/or light emanating from wireless devices (such as at a movie theater), for preventing wireless devices from communicating with other wireless devices (such as in academic settings), and for forcing certain electronic devices to enter “sleep mode” when entering a sensitive area.”

Various technical methods that would enable this are described at the Apple Insider link above and we think that the idea of having different profiles for different areas would no doubt appeal to many. In iOS 5 a limited version of this capability exists so that a reminder alert can be set for when you get to the office for example. However so far this is a limited function as well as being a battery-drainer. This new patent though goes several steps further and as well as being able to control different tones could also control brightness, radio communications and other features.

It’s certainly innovative stuff and we’d like to hear your thoughts on this new Apple patent and the possibility of location-based settings so send us your comments to let us know.


One thought on “New Apple iPhone patent changes settings based on location”

  1. Kishd says:

    Can you really patent old inventions? I had this functionality on my symbian phone b4 the iphone was released. Also I currently have an app on Android that does exactly that and the chameleon launcher for Android is based on the “situation aware” principal. Apple should stop patenting other people’s ideas.

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