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Apple eyes intuitive iPhone features with new ‘situational awareness’ tech

Zach Epstein
February 27th, 2013 at 2:40 PM
iPhone Situational Awareness Patent

Apple’s (AAPL) iOS helped reshape the smartphone industry when it was introduced more than five years ago, and it has evolved quite a bit since then. Despite all the new functionality Apple has added though, there are still some key features that are missing. Apple is currently toying with new technologies that may address some of these missing features in a future software update, however, and a new patent filing may shed light on some key details.

According to an Apple patent filing recently uncovered by ValueWalk, Apple is experimenting with the idea of adding intuitive features to the iPhone that are enabled by “situational awareness.” The tech would basically allow Apple devices to perform functions without any action taken by the user, simply by anticipating what the user needs based on his or her current situation.

“The electronic device is ready to perform the anticipated function without input from the user by using sensors to sense environmental attributes,” the filing reads. “The sensors can include an ambient light sensor, a force sensor, a temperature sensor, an ambient noise sensor, and a motion sensor.”

A patent filing hardly means this functionality will reach a production device in its current state, but it may point toward future Apple smartphones that are far smarter than current iPhone models.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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