apple, apple watch, public, Tech & Science, USPTO

Apple Watch could set your iPhone to just the right volume

Apple’s clever patent turns the watch into a volume knob.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch could soon turn into an automatically adjusting volume control for your iPhone.In a new patent filed by Apple with the USPTO, the iPhone-maker has found a way to ensure all your iPhone notifications get played at just the right volume level by using ambient audio samples from Apple Watch.


The new patent would be useful in a number of situations. Like say you’re at a noisy party, the iPhone stuffed in your pocket, or purse, would know to boost the volume so you can hear when someone’s calling. It’d be handy when you’re in a quiet location too and don’t want your iPhone to destroy the zen of the silence.

Apple could also use the patent to increase or shorten then distance it takes for a users to activate ‘Hey, Siri’. There’s also some wording about changing other characteristics and settings using the same process, so it could become a wide-reaching feature.

Data from the Apple Watch can be used to detect iPhone’s orientation relative to the user’s body, as well as whether it’s in a pocket or stuffed in a bag. The patent was filed back in March 2014 before the Apple Watch was even announced, but one big problem that could prevent it from becoming a public feature is Apple Watch’s tiny battery can barely survive a full-day of displaying notifications. Sampling ambient audio all day would kill it even quicker.

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