Apple invention uses Apple Watch to auto adjust iPhone alert volume

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2016
Apple is looking to turn Apple Watch into an automated iPhone command and control module, as a patent application published Thursday details a method by which the wearable monitors, compares and adjusts handset audio output on the fly.


Source: USPTO


Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple's "Volume control for mobile device using a wireless device" application is a narrowly worded invention describing an Apple Watch implementation for automatically adjusting an iPhone's alert volume, or other characteristics, based on ambient sound samples.

Such a system has obvious benefits in loud environments where alerts might not cut through environmental chatter, and would play well in quiet situations by silencing disturbing ringtones or alerts. In addition, because the Watch is positioned on a user's body it is more accurate than an identical sound regulation mechanism built directly into iPhone.

In practice, a monitoring Apple Watch uses its microphone to sample ambient sound, collecting data at regular intervals or when triggered to do so by a host device. Using this information as a baseline, Watch is able to parse out an alert from background noise and make a volume adjustment determination.

The data can also be used to determine if a connected phone is stowed in a bag, tucked in a pocket, positioned away from the user or otherwise situated so as to be sonically occluded by a sound barrier.




In some embodiments an iPhone sends a notification signal to the wearable prior to playing an audible alert. The receiving Apple Watch listens for the incoming tone and compares the signal against a stored ambient noise reference signal. Depending on the results of Watch's analysis, facilitated through database of sounds and various preset thresholds, command signals are sent to raise, lower or modify an iPhone's output volume.

Apple's invention can also be applied to clean up audio signals in an on-device speech recognition system. Filtering out ambient noise could, for example, increase the effective distance of Apple's always-on "Hey Siri" function introduced with iPhone 6s.

Apple's iPhone monitoring Apple Watch patent application was first filed for in 2014 and credits David J. Shoemaker and Eugene Dvortsov as its inventors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Hmmm, now we have developed this watch, how could we make it useful for our customers? Hmmmm....
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Brilliant.  The number of times i've missed a call because I haven't heard the phone or felt its vibration my pocket.  Brilliant.  Get on with it Jony I need tin iPhone 7 !!!
    mac fanam8449
  • Reply 3 of 15
    Enough with the "inventions" already.  Next Apple will "invent" a way for left-handed people to hold a phone with their right hand.
    dasanman69
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Much as it is a nice-to-have feature, I am not sure it's patent-worthy, and I am even less sure that this qualifies for an AI headline. 
    dasanman69
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,631member
    I don't get it  :/

    If your Apple watch alerts you when your phone rings, then why is this needed?
  • Reply 6 of 15
    dacloo said:
    Hmmm, now we have developed this watch, how could we make it useful for our customers? Hmmmm....
    Or how can we make it even more useful to our customer and less annoying to others around them. Limiting the conditions in which you hear Siri's activation beeps from the phone and her (or his) voice is an example of that.

    I prefer to let the Watch alert me. I keep it silent and because of the Taptic engine, have never missed a call. That wasn't the case when I just put the phone on vibrate.
    nolamacguyjbdragonai46cornchip
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Much as it is a nice-to-have feature, I am not sure it's patent-worthy, and I am even less sure that this qualifies for an AI headline. 
    Or the story about an Apple job application for a software engineer to work on watch faces/complications. Slow news week I guess.

    When someone calls me I get a vibration on my wrist. What is this needed for? Of course I know just because Apple files for a patent on something doesn't mean we'll see it in a product.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 15
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,448member
    dacloo said:
    Hmmm, now we have developed this watch, how could we make it useful for our customers? Hmmmm....
    I wonder how much battery power an always on sound sensor will use ...
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Could also be a good feature to implement in a moving car for automatically adjusting radio volume.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    dacloo said:
    Hmmm, now we have developed this watch, how could we make it useful for our customers? Hmmmm....
    do you even own one? I began getting my value from it on Day 1. 
    jbdragonai46mac fan
  • Reply 11 of 15
    Much as it is a nice-to-have feature, I am not sure it's patent-worthy, and I am even less sure that this qualifies for an AI headline. 
    sure it's patently worthy. patents are about the implementation, not the idea. 

    also, interesting tidbits like this are exactly why I read these sites. 
    mac fan
  • Reply 12 of 15
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,134member
    dacloo said:
    Hmmm, now we have developed this watch, how could we make it useful for our customers? Hmmmm....
    My Apple watch is very useful already.
    mac fan
  • Reply 13 of 15
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,134member
    Much as it is a nice-to-have feature, I am not sure it's patent-worthy, and I am even less sure that this qualifies for an AI headline. 
    Clearly it qualified as a AI headline because you clicked on it and then posted. You just click on everything blindly? Can't help yourself? It's generating traffic and messages, so I guess it's good enough for a topic. You helped in that matter.
    edited February 2016 mac fan
  • Reply 14 of 15
    Could also be a good feature to implement in a moving car for automatically adjusting radio volume.
    Yeah, I know... man, moving my thumb on the steering wheel by an inch or two to adjust the 'Vol +/-' button is such a pain...

    ;-)
  • Reply 15 of 15
    dacloo said:
    Hmmm, now we have developed this watch, how could we make it useful for our customers? Hmmmm....
    Heh, sorry man. You make a comment like that on AppleInsider and your gonna get hated 'til the day you die, when a whole herd of AppleInsider readers will attend your funeral only to dump a heap of old Apple product parts over your tomb stone and kick dirt on the well-dressed attendees. I don't entirely agree with your assessment, but appreciate the dry sense of humor!
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