Microsoft has patented "Inconspicuous Mode" that will allow users to set devices to dim, and silence depending on the location of the device.
Microsoft wants to change the way people use their devices in public. Well, they want to make it easier for them to use at various points throughout their day. For those who have ever been frustrated by walking into a movie theater, or place of business, and forgotten to silence, or dim their device – Microsoft has finally come up with a solution. Their solution is being called ‘inconspicuous mode’ and would utilize a Windows Phone’s Calendar as a point of reference for determining when the device should be silent or ring loudly.
However, that would make the technology relatively one-dimensional. Instead, Microsoft is going also to use GPS, as well as Wi-Fi addresses to determine when, and where a device should be silenced. The technology would also allow users devices to be turned up, in addition to simply being muted or dimmed. While the patent was actually submitted in 2013 to be accepted then, it took until recently to actually have that patent be granted.
In a basic sense, the device could also be dimmed or silenced depending on the time of day – similar to the function of a “Do Not Disturb” mode that exists on iOS devices. While that is a more-basic function of the concept, if Microsoft works this properly, and employs such technology on other Windows devices, this would be one of the best additions to Windows devices in some time.
Probably the most-interesting portion of the technology is the fact that Microsoft says that this quiet mode could actually be set into motion at any given time, and the way the home screen appears while in this mode could be tailored depending on what the user would like to get out of it. Users could set it up so that only certain email accounts are active, or text messages are only accepted from particular phone numbers, in addition to simply being silenced.
Ultimately, that is something that is really noteworthy for Microsoft as they head into 2015 – and on the doorstep of the Windows 10 launch. This would be a feature that could really separate Windows from its competitors as it relates to mobile operating systems.