Your iPhone could one day switch to vibrate mode, adjust its own volume, and wake up from sleep mode without you even lifting a finger.
A new patent filing published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggests a phone or other device empowered with "situational awareness." Dubbed "Electronic device with automatic mode switching," the filing describes ways that the device can automatically perform certain tasks based on different conditions.
Filed in September 2011, the patent lays out the technology for a variety of devices, including mobile phones, media players, and PDAs.
Using embedded sensors, the device could detect external noises, temperatures, lighting conditions, and time of day, and then react accordingly.
The patent shows how a situationally-aware device would work.
For example, the device could automatically lower its ring volume based on what time you go to bed. It could adjust its own backlight based on the surrounding light. It could even turn your music on or off based on sim... [Read more]