updated 10:28 am EDT, Tue May 28, 2013
Tech still unimplemented in shipping iPhones
Apple has won a US patent on a technology that could automatically adjust an iPhone's volume levels based on its proximity to the ear, says AppleInsider. Titled Adjustment of acoustic properties based on proximity detection, the patent suggests using a proximity sensor to adjust the volume of the phone's speaker and/or receiver. An iPhone lowered from a person's head to a desk, for example, could automatically switch into speakerphone mode.
At the moment, the iPhone's proximity sensor is used only to shut off the touchscreen to prevent accidental inputs when the device is up against an ear. It would be relatively easy to implement automatic volume adjustment in upcoming models, but there have been no rumors that the feature will make it into an iPhone 5S or a low-cost iPhone. One or both products are expected to ship this fall.