iPhone 4.0 OS: event based modes, intellingent and scheduled communications
Now that with 3.0 OS iPhone has basically caught up with the traditional smartphones in functionality, it may be time to look how Apple can make the next generation devices even smarter.
We’ve already seen some of the things, like integration between Mapping and Calendar app in recent Apple patent filings. Some new patent applications from Apple reveal even more.
iPhone event based modes
One such patent application, called “Event-based modes for electronic devices” describes how your iPhone 4.0 device could be able to automatically adapt to different locations and life events.
The “life events” can include such things as:
any location-based event (e.g., the device entering or exiting a specific geographical location, such as a country, or a specific type of location, such as a movie theater, etc.), any environment-based event (e.g., the device being subjected to a specific physical orientation, movement, temperature, sound, light, etc.), any calendar-based event (e.g., the device reaching a specific time of day, day of week, date, etc.), any usage-based event (e.g., the device being used for a specific function, for a specific period of time, the device’s battery having less than half of its capacity remaining, etc.), any news-based event (e.g., the device receiving information about a particular worldly occurrence, such as a weather forecast, news report, or sport score, etc.), and combinations thereof.
In reaction to these life events your iPhone would be able to to automatically reconfigure it’s settings – e.g. switch the sound off and turn on a voicemail when calendar shows that you are in the meeting; prioritize certain functions and assets based on your location and time – e.g.messaging functions, e-mail access and notifications during working hours and when device knows you are in your office, music and multimedia when you are out of your office in the evening; turn off or limit some power hungry functions -e.g active data connection – when your battery is running low, etc;
Scheduled communications on your iPhone
Another Apple patent app, called “User-programmed automated communications “ is somewhat similar to the one above, but describes a way for you to automatically schedule/preset communications activities based on calendar events, your location, caller id and other conditions.
E.g. your iPhone can automatically send a birthday greeting SMS or e-mail to your friends on a certain date, play a specific message based on caller id, if you are unable to pick-up the phone at the moment, send another message to your colleague if your haven’t answered his voicemail message in an hour, set-up a call with John on specific time, if a calendar entry says “Call John”, or send an e-mail to your friends in LA when you arrive there.
Intelligent iPhone communication modes
Most of today’s smartphones are pretty dumb when it comes to setting up communications with others and reacting to communication requests. So it’s up to you to make it right.
Your phone doesn’t really care that you are in a meeting right now, so it’s your problem if you forgot to turn the sound off and some telemarketer calls. When you login on some IM service, all your contacts get an update that you are available, and it doesn’t matter that you only want to show that to your family and closest friends. And when your are unable to pick up the phone, people calling you are left wondering where the heck are you. And there’s no way to tell the boss that you are closing the deal with a client right now, without broadcasting this to everyone else.
Well, patent app called “Systems and methods for intelligent and customizable communications between devices” shows how Apple might be able to do something about that.
By that I mean:
select appropriate communication modes for incoming communications requests based on a user’s preferences and availability. In addition, the communications device can determine the communication modes of a user based on the current activity and allow the user to provide customized information to his contacts.
If implemented in iPhone OS, the new software will let to set up various communication modes, different reply messages, availability notifications and status updates to all your contacts and contact groups in an address book. These modes then can be turned on/off manually or automatically based on your location, time of day, calendar entries or current activities.
Of course, all of these are just patent apps. But most of these things, if implemented right can make your iPhone much more useful and capable device.
And Apple is not the only one working on the ways to make your next phone an intelligent device. Google also has some similar ideas in that direction, and I am sure Nokia ain’t sitting still too.
I guess our smartphones may actually become smart in a few years.