Apple tech could help you use your iPhone while in motion

A newly awarded patent describes a way to alter the iPhone's interface to adjust to your movement.

Apple/USPTO

Trying to tap a precise spot on your iPhone while you're walking, jogging, or riding in a car can be a challenge. Apple may have a solution in the works via a new patent.

Awarded to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, a patent dubbed "Variable device graphical user interface" envisions an interface that changes and adapts in response to your movement. The goal is to enlarge or adjust certain on-screen elements so they're easier to tap while you're on the go.

Accelerometers, gyroscopes, and other sensors would detect your motion to try to determine if you're walking, running, or in a car. Icons and other elements on the screen then would change depending on the type and severity of your motion and the phone's position.

The entries in your contact list may grow larger so you can more easily tap on a specific name. The confirmation box that appears when a call comes in could offer bigger "Yes" and "No" buttons for you to tap. A "fisheye" effect also could be used to enlarge specific elements on the screen while shrinking the surrounding area.

A technology that makes it easier to tap keys while in motion sounds fine. But what our phones really need is a way to tell when they're in our pockets so we can avoid the embarrassment of pocket dialing.

(Via AppleInsider)

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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