From the long list of patents recently awarded to Apple, here is an interesting one: a location-aware iPhone. According to US Patent No. 8,245,902 for an “Apparatus and methods for enforcement policies upon a wireless device,” your iPhone could automatically go into sleep or silent mode as soon as you enter the classroom.
The patent describes custom alert profiles for several situations making use of methods already available such as GPS, cellular signal and WLAN communication. The result is an iPhone that is aware of your location and that knows how to “behave” in that situation, as the user has set the rules for this type of action.
From the patent description:
This policy enforcement capability is 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.
It’s interesting to know that if this patent is implemented in some way, your iPhone would know that you have just entered the classroom simply by using the tools already available: Apple just created a method of information gathering and processing, and the user sets the action rules. For instance, if the user has set the parameters for the iPhone to go silent while you are in the classroom, the iDevice can do that by simply communicating with the Wi-Fi base station and reading the location information, and—depending on the settings—it could switch automatically to silent or vibrate mode.
According to the patent description, the main function of the command would be to control the tones, display brightness, radio and several other high-function features of the iPhone. This is clearly the sign that the current system is shifting towards an intelligent system, even if a only moderate one. [Via AppleInsider; Image credit AppleInsider]Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback