iOS to Gain ‘Chameleon-Like’ Reactive & Environmentally Aware Features & Screen Savers?
An upcoming iteration of iOS may include further abilities to respond and react to environmental stimuli, according to a patent granted to Apple. The patent describes sensors that make a device aware of its speed, direction, temperature, and orientation on Earth, in addition to utilizing a microphone and camera to detect changes in the surrounding environment, and more importantly, adjust items on display based on these factors.
The patent was discovered by PatentlyApple, who describes the feature as “Chameleon-like” and suggests these adjustments could be geared towards fashion, of all things:
Apple’s patent covers systems, methods and computer-readable media for displaying dynamic tags or screen savers that change based on detected characteristics of the user’s environment. In particular, the patent covers dynamic tags that could serve as a fashion accessory by changing based on characteristics of the user’s environment.
PatentlyApple then elaborates on how the camera could detect colors and then adjust items on the screen accordingly:
…the electronic device could dynamically change the appearance of the tag based on the evolution of the sensor outputs. For example, if the electronic device determines from the camera that the color schemes of the user’s room have changed, the displayed tag could adjust to reflect the new detected colors.
The patent goes on to provide a description of the technology in use, describing a raindrops screensaver that adjusts its behavior based on environmental factors. The patent drawings clearly show a device that looks like an iPod nano (on a side note, this indicates that future iPod nanos may include cameras) but PatentlyApple says that other devices are clearly specified (emphasis mine):
It should be noted that while Apple’s patent illustrations are all related to a future version of an iPod nano, the fact is that the patent states that their invention will also apply to the iPhone, iPod Touch (PDA), iPad (tablet) and other devices which includes a laptop, gaming device and even medical equipment.
Can you imagine these kind of reactive features being used in future screen savers, apps, and games across Apple’s entire portable lineup? Some apps already take limited cues from things like the microphone, and many apps use the built-in accelerometers to adjust behavior on screen, but this looks like it has the potential to expand on these reactive concepts dramatically.
PatentlyApple is on a roll today, first finding a patent for futuristic virtual Apple keyboards that puff air to emulate the feel of pressing buttons, and now with this. Pretty impressive stuff, assuming Apple ever implements this technology in upcoming products.
Head on over to PatentlyApple to see more drawings and to read more about this, it’s a good read as always.