The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently published three applications from Apple describing plans to utilize wearable sensors to gather data from the user, and process it to make smart decisions for the iPhone including alarm settings, push notifications, and other automated functions. The news was first broken by Apple Insider. This marks a continued step in Apple’s move toward wearables, with their wearables heavy ad released earlier in June.
The first patent titled “Method and apparatus for personal characterization data collection” details the utilization of sensors from the users iPhone or similar device as well as a wearable sensor, and processes that information to understand what the user is doing in real time. This patent is ideally to be used with the recently announced iOS 8 update HealthKit, understanding how the user exercises and applying that information to pattern recognition processes, leading to other native and non-native applications on iOS such as lifestyle and interest applications.
The second patent titled “Method and apparatus for automatically setting alarms and notifications” lays out the use of motion data from various sensors to be used in tandem with alarms, creating a set of smart alarms that responds to a user’s responses, including biometrics. An example in the filing of the patent uses two people, both wearing biometric bracelets connected to one iPhone. If both were sleeping but only one needed to wake up, it would sense the need to change from a noise to a vibration to wake one of the two with vibrations on the bracelet.
The third patent filing, titled “Method and apparatus for automatically repeating alarms and notifications in response to device motion” describes the process to which the sensors, including wearable sensors, help determine the manner in which the user is alerted to push notifications, messages, and phone calls. An example of this patent is used with sound settings, to determine whether the user is asleep or awake, and respond accordingly with notifications.