Earlier in quarter the US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Microsoft that revealed a new device control service that could generate a device quiet time control for a designated time duration and/or to restrict communication functions of the associated devices that are in the vehicle with the mobile device. The invention could be beneficial to both consumers and business users alike.
Microsoft Invents a Device Control Service
One of Microsoft's latest inventions relate to a device control service that could be implemented to determine that the mobile device is moving in a vehicle based on motion data, and instantly generate a device quiet control to restrict at least audible outputs from one or more of the associated devices that are in a vehicle with the mobile device. The device control service could then initiate communication of the device quiet control to the associated devices in the vehicle to quiet the associated devices that are controllable from the mobile device.
In addition to restricting the audible outputs from the associated devices, the device control service could generate the device quiet control to restrict communication functions of the associated devices that are in the vehicle with the mobile device.
Microsoft further states that the mobile device may also include an audio sensor to detect audio in the vehicle, and the device control service could then generate a safe driving notification, such as for display on the integrated display device, to indicate that the audio in the vehicle is a driver distraction. A distracted driving notification could also be generated and communicated to the associated devices that are in the vehicle with the mobile device, where the safe driving notification is generated for display at the associated devices to indicate that use of an associated device is restricted in a safe driving mode.
In embodiments, a device control system includes a network service (e.g., a network of one or more server devices) that executes computer instructions as a device control service. The device control service is implemented to receive a device distraction input from a mobile device that is moving in a vehicle, and generate a device quiet control to restrict at least audible outputs from associated devices that are in the vehicle with the mobile device. The device control service could determine associated devices that correspond to members of a private interaction hub, and that are controllable by the mobile device, based on identifiers of the mobile device and the associated devices. A device quiet control could then be communicated to the associated devices to quiet the devices that are in the vehicle with the mobile device. Whether this could include varying devices such as Windows OS, iOS and Android isn't clarified.
Microsoft also notes that the device control service could also generate the device quiet control for a designated time duration and/or to restrict communication functions of the associated devices that are in the vehicle with the mobile device. Additionally, the device distraction input that is received from the mobile device may include an indication that audio in the vehicle is a driver distraction. The device control service could then generate a distracted driving notification to indicate that the audio in the vehicle is a driver distraction, and the distracted driving notification is communicated to the associated devices that are in the vehicle with the mobile device, such as for display to indicate that use of an associated device is restricted in a safe driving mode.
More about Quiet Time
Microsoft notes that a quiet time feature could be implemented by a control user to set usage and/or function restrictions on other phone devices, such as other family members' devices in a family group.
The quiet time settings for the hours and/or days in effect on a per-user basis could be enabled and/or disabled via a user interface that includes time and day setting options common in scheduling features, such as for reminders and meetings. The quiet time settings also allow a user to define what aspects of a device are disabled when quiet time is enabled, such as when doing anything, playing games, communicating, etc. A device that has quiet time enabled could display an indicator that quiet time is enabled, such as an icon next to the current time and day, or a display message that indicates quiet time is active (e.g., displaying an icon or message "Quiet Time" on the device's home screen or lock screen).
Microsoft's patent FIG. 4 noted below illustrates a quiet time user interface when quiet time is active on a device, such as a lock screen 402 displayed on a mobile phone to indicate the duration for quiet time (e.g., displayed text "11 PM to 7 AM"). Another lock screen example (#404) of a display that indicates the phone is locked, but capable of enabling critical functionality like emergency calls or communicating with parents or the individual who setup the quiet time period. In this manner, the user of the device could still perform critical functions or negotiate with the parent or guardian to disable the quiet time setting.
Quiet time may be time and/or location dependent. A mobile device may also begin to learn and infer the regular schedule of a user, such as when a child is in class at school and then out of school. This may tie in with a family hub calendar to initiate various quiet time modes and settings. Quiet time implements restricted functionality, rather than control of the quieted device. This may be implemented as a group quiet function, such as during dinner and all family member devices are quieted. Quiet time may also be implemented as a one-button shut-down selection, such as for church, in a movie, or to limit just gaming, and so on.
Windows quiet time may also be implemented at a business or location, such as at a church, movie theater, or coffee shop, and patron's phone devices are quieted. Quiet time may be disabled so that a quieted device is reactivated by bumping (for example, by using NFC) the quieted device with the parent control device from which the quiet time was activated.
Microsoft's safe driving features are designed to reduce and/or eliminate the distractions associated with a mobile device while driving. A mobile device, such as a mobile phone, could be synced with the automobile being driven, and based on geo-location and/or acceleration rates, the mobile phone could be disabled or partially disabled, as well as implemented to interface with the automobile. The safe driving features could be implemented as a user interface and/or client device application or service.
A safe driving disabled mode is an example of a safe driving feature that could be implemented for a mobile device when a user is operating a vehicle with a wireless beacon device associated with the vehicle (e.g., a Bluetooth hands-free speaker/microphone device). Mobile device safe driving provides that a restrictive disabled mode could temporarily disable a mobile device when the device is in the presence of both a vehicle wireless beacon device and another mobile device owned by an associated person, such as a parent or a guardian. In this manner, the solution does not present as a failure to the owner of the device. If the device owner is a teenager and Mom is driving, the teenager has normal access to the device capabilities. If the device owner is a teenager and he or she is driving, the safe driving mode could be disabled, but the solution relies on the presence of Mom to reinforce and/or remind the teenager of good driving habits. Safe driving mode implementations could dynamically change behaviors based on who is in the vehicle.
Microsoft's patent FIG. 5 noted below illustrates examples #500 of safe driving mode user interfaces, such as a lock screen 502 displayed on a mobile phone when the safe driving mode is active in the presence of a vehicle. Another lock screen 504 is an example of a display that indicates the phone is locked, but capable of enabling critical functionality like emergency calls. In an example, safe driving mode settings 506 are illustrated for a teenager in two different years. In the first year 508 of driving, the teen is a new driver and has access only to the family car. In his first year, his parents have used the settings user interface to restrict his usage and lock the phone completely. In the second year 510 of driving, the teen has his own car and his parents have allowed him to move up to hands-free operation with both vehicles.
Microsoft's patent FIG. 6 and 11 below illustrate examples of embodiments of controls that could be implemented in future mobile devices.
Microsoft filed their patent application back in Q4 2012. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
A Note for Tech Sites covering our Report: We ask tech sites covering our report to kindly limit the use of our graphics to one image. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Patent Bolt presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables.
About Posting Comments: Patent Bolt reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments.