Apple explores home power system, mood sensing media software

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
More new patent applications from Apple this week show a potential device that would analyze and control the power consumption of electronic devices within a home, and a method for sensing a user's mood and choosing media based on their emotional state.



Smart home power panel



Apple's filing for "Intelligent Power Monitoring" describes a system that would identify networked hardware, along with processes on a computer, to determine how much power consumption is necessary to keep everything running. The system could then predict the cost of the existing power requirements, and allow users the ability to reduce their overall power consumption.



The system would allow users to execute or close applications to create an ideal power plan. Through the system, devices such as iPhones, iPods and printers, along with Mac applications like Safari, Finder and iTunes, could be ranked according to priority levels assigned by the user.



Apple, in the application, noted that household power consumption continues to grow as devices like computers are left on for longer periods of time, and portable electronic devices have batteries that frequently need to be recharged. With the rising cost of electricity, these habits will not only result in wasted power, but also larger bills for consumers.



The application describes an "electronic device" that would aim to reduce waste and minimize a user's bill by calculating how much power a device will need to perform certain tasks.



"The cost of power can vary based on a number of factors, including for example the time of day, week or month, the consumer's tier or type of service, the amount of power previously consumed by the consumer, alternate sources of power used by the consumer (e.g., solar cells used during the day), or any other suitable criteria," the application reads.



"The criteria can be combined into one or more tables or graphs, or into one or more equations or algorithms used by the power supplier to determine how much to charge for each consumer's power use."







The system would define "boundaries or limits" to the power cost of operating a device. Users could, for example, say that their computer is not permitted to use power that totals more than a specified amount of money each week.



"Before performing each operation," it states, "the electronic device can then determine the power cost associated with the operation, and determine whether the power cost satisfies the boundaries or limits set for the operation."



Credited to Anthony Fadell, the invention was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 8, 2009.



Another report on the matter Thursday included images that were implied to be from the "Intelligent Power Monitoring" patent application. However, those drawings are not a part of the specific application revealed this week. They show a greater emphasis on home automation with a mock-up of a house and various power plugs, but their source is unknown.







Mood-sensing software



New software could select music in response to a user's mood, through a system that would determine whether they are happy, sad, angry or something else.



The system would detect a user's mood through a capacitance sensor in a variety of manners. For example, a sensor could be a part of a device's touchscreen panel, from which it would gather data and compare it to information corresponding to a common set of moods from a sample sized population.



The system could then recommend or automatically play various media types, including music and movies, based on the suer's current mood. The technology could also be used to counteract a "bad" mood: slow or soft music could be played when the user is angry or upset.







If no appropriate content is available, such a system could also automatically download or stream the right video, music or photos for that moment in time.



The system could also keep track of users' prior moods and playback preferences, and use that information to determine the best media to choose based on their current state of mind.



Entitled "System and Method for Creating Playlists Based on Mood," the application was filed for on July 10, 2008.







Contacts, promotions on iPhone home screen



Another application presents an option for users to place individual contacts directly on their phone's home screen. Simply titled "Adding a Contact to a Home Screen," the document describes just that.



The contact icon could be used to retrieve and display contact information, and also to access an application that is specifically chosen for that contact. The icon could also employ a proximity sensor with the contact's own separate cell phone, and show up on the screen only when that person is nearby.







"User created icons can allow convenient access to all information and applications related to a contact," the application reads. "Thus, consecutive access to applications related to a contact can be greatly diminished. Additionally, temporary user access to applications relative to a location allows a user to minimize the amount of application data stored on a user mobile device."



Using this method, the icon could also serve as an advertisement for a business. The included images show a company called "Rocket Java" informing the user about a special on dark roasted Jamaican blend.







Previous applications have also addressed the possibility of more dynamic home screens, with a location-aware system offering custom icons and data, such as weather, based on what town the device is currently in. For example, when in San Francisco, a "San Francisco" icon would appear on the screen, and take the user to a location-specific option.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    This is the kind of thinking I love from Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 35
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The system would detect a user's mood ...compare it to information corresponding to a common set of moods from a sample sized population.



    I'm so happy I just want to listen to some Death Metal. What? You're suggesting 'Feeling Groovy by Simon and Garfunkle'.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    It's great until you are having party and start talking to some hot chick when suddenly your AppleTV starts playing 'Nailin Palin'.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Hal speaks . . .



    "Dave you seem upset and angry. Shall i play heavy metal music while i shut down all your homes life support systems?"



    "No Hal i don't think that is necessary."



    "Sorry Dave" Heavy metal music fills the house at full volume while all utilities are turned off.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    ... could be used to detect when the thing has been thrown against a wall, in which case ALL STOP.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hunabku View Post


    Hal speaks . . .



    "Dave you seem upset and angry. Shall i play heavy metal music while i shut down all your homes life support systems?"



    "No Hal i don't think that is necessary."



    "Sorry Dave" Heavy metal music fills the house at full volume while all utilities are turned off.



    Hehe, well played.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    This is the kind of thinking I love from Apple.



    What?



    A lot of this is just plain ridiculous. Mood sensing? What a load of crap.



    There is no way to sense "moods" through technology. They should be embarrassed to publish such a patent.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    What?



    A lot of this is just plain ridiculous. Mood sensing? What a load of crap.



    There is no way to sense "moods" through technology. They should be embarrassed to publish such a patent.



    Creative thinking, no matter where it leads or how unusual it seems is always preferable to the kind of uninspired meat-and-potatoes that permeates the industry.



    New software could select music in response to a user's mood, through a system that would determine whether they are happy, sad, angry or something else.



    The system would detect a user's mood through a capacitance sensor in a variety of manners. For example, a sensor could be a part of a device's touchscreen panel, from which it would gather data and compare it to information corresponding to a common set of moods from a sample sized population.




    Hmmm . . . there might be several interesting ways this could be implemented? Mood or emotional state often manifests itself physically. Touch pressure, temperature sensing, speed of input. Depends on the capabilities of this "capacitance sensor."



    Avie Tevanian recently commented that the prototypes for Apple's devices in the market today were developed by Apple years ago. Perhaps a few years from now such mood-sensing tech won't seem so unusual at all.
  • Reply 9 of 35
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    What?



    A lot of this is just plain ridiculous. Mood sensing? What a load of crap.



    There is no way to sense "moods" through technology. They should be embarrassed to publish such a patent.



    No, it could be possible to detect moods, for example using some type of brain imaging technology but to try to suggest a musical selection based on the results is the dumb part. I guess there will always be people who prefer not to think for themselves.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    intenseintense Posts: 106member
    i love intelligent machines

    as long as they don't take over the world

    and use humans as their slaves
  • Reply 11 of 35
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    No, it could be possible to detect moods, for example using some type of brain imaging technology but to try to suggest a musical selection based on the results is the dumb part. I guess there will always be people who prefer not to think for themselves.



    Well, it *may* be *possible* using not yet invented technology, but I'm pretty certain that it isn't actually possible today, or even for the foreseeable future.



    All those shows on the Discovery channel where someone claims to be "watching thoughts" or "detecting emotions" using brain scans are completely false I can assure you. Scans just detect electrical activity or heat. In reality they are hardly different in concept from the old "mood rings" that used to be sold in the 70's. Those detected your body heat.



    There is a big, big, big difference between "there's electrical activity in this part of her brain" and "she's depressed." The detection of the mood is a rather wildly subjective assumption. Anyone who tells you they can detect moods or emotions using technology is a quack.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    irelandireland Posts: 17,737member
    I'm in the mood for a tablet. Patent that!
  • Reply 13 of 35
    It seems Apple wants to emulate everything Google these days (and seemingly vice versa!)



    Google Power Meter is similar:

    http://www.google.com/powermeter



    which works with TED (The Energy Detective):

    http://www.theenergydetective.com/te...-overview.html
  • Reply 14 of 35
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    If Apple is in any way shape or form investigating home automation technologies I'm all for it... The market as it stands now sucks pure and simple.



    X10 -- Often cheaply made and unreliable devices.



    Insteon -- Midlevel priced often unreliable devices that eventually get fixed...



    Zigbee and UPB? -- Two other standards usually higher priced but have no 1st hand experience with them when it comes to reliability.. I know one was charging $5,000 just for their developer SDK and it only supported windows...



    Yea the market sucks in a major way.



    Unfortunatly it isn't exactly a market Apple gels with all too well...



    Electrical Outlets and Wall Switched that need to be installed by an electrician or a home owner who knows what they are doing... Yea... thats WAY too much roll up your sleeve and get out the toolbox and make sure someone mans the breaker panel for Apple to even consider dealing with.



    Could you imagine the lawsuits?!?!



    Some Joe Sixpack buys a switch and goes to install it... and he EVEN turns off the breaker to the device that the switch controls (the man was using his brain!) and as he's installing it he gets a shock that knocks him on his ass...



    What happened??



    Simple... the switch box had feeds from more than one breaker going to it... (something that does happen on occasion)... Trust me, I speak form a great degree of certainty on this particular subject... (ouch!). One of those lessons you only need to be taught once and it sinks in for a very long time!



    Anyway.. I'd certainly like someone to jump in and do to the HA industry what Apple did to the cellphone industry.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    There is no way to sense "moods" through technology. They should be embarrassed to publish such a patent.



    It already exists, genius.



    http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Scienc...p?NewsNum=1273



    http://mediasoon.com/062009/online-s...ion-interface/



    All you need is a camera with face detection software (which Apple already has in iPhoto) and some way to analyze facial expressions for things like? furrowed eyebrows and narrowed eyes, along with a neutral mouth, possibly with clenched jaw, like you probably have on your face right now, because I just told you that you were wrong and called you "genius" sarcastically.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    bspearsbspears Posts: 147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    What?



    A lot of this is just plain ridiculous. Mood sensing? What a load of crap.



    There is no way to sense "moods" through technology. They should be embarrassed to publish such a patent.



    I have to think that some of this is just intentional horse$hit to throw the hounds off the scent.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    The Singularity is coming!!





    LOL ..I'm also not into the Mood Sensing crapola. I can barely tell the mood of my girlfriend and I've got almost 40 years of experience. I'm doubting Apple or anyone else will get this down anytime soon.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    I don't buy the mood sensing portion but could see them dabbling in the power monitoring/metering, etc. We've seen a lot of companies that aren't specific to home automation entering that market in the last two years. There are already a number of software and software/hardware packages in the home automation market to do this so it will be interesting to see if they take it anywhere...
  • Reply 19 of 35
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    iPod Touch: I can tell by the way you're stabbing at the screen and grimacing that you're stressed. Now downloading "The Best of Jimmy Buffet" to help you change your attitude.



    You : What!? Jimmy Buffet!!?? I hate that shit! Stop it!! (Begins to frantically stab at screen)



    iPod Touch: I can tell you're getting even more stressed. Now downloading A Very Special Seals and Crofts Christmas.



    You: AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! GOD NO!!!!! STOP!!!!!!!



    Apple TV: You are becoming excessively excited. (Begins to play "Afternoon Delight" at high volume while showing pictures of LOLcats)



    You: (Head Explodes)



    House: Boom!
  • Reply 20 of 35
    Mood sensing... Hmmm... as far as I know Apple does not provide erotic content and establishing mood based on "sad-happy" criteria is sort of primitive.



    In fact, I do not understand why porn is not differentiated from erotic content and why the latter does not exist as genre in iTunes or Apple TV.



    After all movie "Emanuelle" is not a porn.... well at least in Europe.





    (Euro living in the USA)
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