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Apple considering motion-friendly iPhone adaptations

updated 09:50 am EDT, Thu April 16, 2009

iPhone motion patent

One of the ideas Apple has been contemplating for the iPhone, a newly-published patent application suggests, is a motion-adapted interface. Apple notes that while the phone's interface may be fine while sitting or standing, it can suddenly become much harder to use while walking or running, as a result of either shaking or sweat. Compounding problems may be distractions, such as a jogging route.

A proposed solution involves the use of the iPhone's motion sensor, which could allow the hardware to detect when its owner is traveling. The interface would then be instructed to change some of its elements to be more forgiving, for instance by increasing the size of rows in the Contacts display. App icons could be enlarged proportionately to the amount of vibration, as could keys on the on-screen keyboard.

The filing further proposes rearranging icons on the Home screen, in part to accommodate larger icon sizes but also based on predictions of where a person might try and tap.

An unusual aspect of the patent is the depiction of a front-facing video camera, which is missing from current iPhones and has not even been rumored for new models expected this summer. Some form of video recording is expected, but front-facing cameras are most commonly associated with video calling, as yet unsuggested by leaks.

by MacNN Staff




  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's funny how these patent applications are a mix of seemingly no-brainer trivial things and actually innovative ideas. A UI that dynamically adapts to the context in which is used it pretty cool. Wonder if it will actually be incorporated into the iPhone OS though.

  1. brainworks

    Joined: Dec 1969


    hard to use when running?

    So it will be easier to use while running, but we're not allowed to get a drop of sweat in the top or bottom. maybe Apple is considering a new moisture-resistant iPhone adaptation too?

  1. jims1973

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Blueprint reading

    I know it looks like a forward facing camera, but it's actually depicting the camera on the back of the phone. If you look at the ear hole speaker slot it's a solid line and the line depicting the camera is a broken line which represents a hidden line, meaning not visible from the front view.

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