The use of mobile devices in certain situations, both public and private, can be quite annoying. Microsoft is now trying to patent a method which would let users switch their mobile devices into ‘inconspicuous’ mode. In other words, the method envisions a way to make mobile devices less annoying in the public sphere.
The patent is, quite plainly, titled ‘Inconspicuous Mode for Mobile Devices’ and has been published by USPTO only recently. In this patent, Microsoft defines a method which helps a user either manually switch to an inconspicuous mode or automatically turn on the mode based on certain factors in the surrounding environment.
Once the Inconspicuous mode is turned on, the device tones down the brightness and contrast of the display and shuts down all sounds. For those of us who often have to tweak the settings of our mobile devices in certain situations and are quite tired of it, this could be a very handy feature.
Microsoft brings out the need for such a method in the following words, “Mobile communication devices are sometimes used as a substitute for a watch, and these people may use the device to check the time while in the theater. Even this use of the device can be distracting to other theater patrons because of the light emanating from the display when the user looks at the display to see the time. Many of these same and other similar problems arise not only in theaters, but in other environments and venues such as in a meeting room, automobile, and even bedrooms.”
Naturally, Microsoft is only trying to patent the technology for now. So as much as we’d love such a feature, it would be quite a while before it makes its way into our smartphones.