In the future, an Apple Watch could be used to determine the volume output of an iPhone. The system is described in a new patent published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office first discovered by AppleInsider.
The patent was originally filed back in 2014 and credits David J. Shoemaker and Eugene Dvortsov as inventors. It describes a system where a wearable device would determine the ambient noise and then adjust the iPhone’s alert notification volume up or down depending on that information.
Here’s more about the patent:
A wearable device can facilitate automatic adjustment of a volume control and/or other settings of a host device based on properties of the ambient environment. For example, when a host device generates an audible alert, a wearable device can sample the ambient sound to detect a distinct contribution corresponding to the audible alert; if the contribution is outside acceptable levels, the wearable device can notify the host device to adjust the alert volume and/or other alert characteristics. Adjustments to host-device settings can also be made based on comparing audio signals collected by the host device and the wearable device.
Data could also be used to determine whether your phone is in a bag, pocket, or other place where hearing alerts could be problematic.
The system could even help filter out ambient noise for using Siri. As you probably remember, starting with the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, users can summon the virtual assistant at any time by simple saying “Hey Siri.”
A patent filing doesn’t mean that the technology will actually appear in any Apple products. But I definitely hope something like this could eventually makes its way to the iPhone and the wearable device. I always seem to turn down my iPhone’s alert volume and never remember to turn it up when needed. I suspect I’m not the only one.
For other news today, see: Apple may be planning some big additions for Maps in iOS 10, HeartWatch 2 is here with a complication and sleep tracking, and Read the news like you’re reading text messages with Quartz.