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Three possible iWatch features revealed in new patents

Published Jun 19th, 2014 6:05PM EDT
Apple iWatch patent filing
Image: Nickolay Lamm

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In case it wasn’t obvious that Apple is working on some sort of wearable device, now we have three newly revealed Apple patents that detail features for a wearable computer like the iWatch. The three patents, first noticed by Apple Insider, were all filed on December 14, 2012, and published on Thursday.

The first patent details how a device can use multiple sensors to determine what you are doing and where you are. For example, it could use the pulse rate sensor and the motion sensor to determine that you are running, and the location sensor to determing whether you are running outside or on a treadmill.

The second patent shows how a wearable device can be used to more intelligently send you notifictaions and turn on Do Not Disturb. For example, your wearable device could detect whether you are sleeping based on the time of day and what it detects with the motion sensor. It could then automatically turn on Do Not Disturb and avoid bothering you with notifications until you are awake. The wearable device could also be aware of who is in the room with you and use this information to send you less disruptive notifications. For example, if two people are wearing a smart bracelet, and one is sleeping, it can alert the awake person’s bracelet with a vibration alert rather than an audible alert.

The third patent describes also describes how sensors can be used to intelligently turn on Do Not Disturb. If the motion sensor determines that the person is sleeping, it will turn on Do Not Disturb. The patent describes how it will keep Do Not Disturb on even if the person only moves a little, perhaps to just check the time on their phone and then falls back asleep. In this case, Do Not Disturb will remain on until the person is fully awake.