Cupertino (CA) - Apple believes it can ease the pain of abruptly dropped calls due to weak network signal - simply by warning users that their connection may be cut.
The filing entitled "Wireless communication out of range indication" discusses an approach to provide an alert when Wi-Fi or mobile network signal is about to be lost, giving users a chance to take "corrective measures". The technology will leverage positioning capabilities of wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and GPS. Apple claims that that hardware such as GPS or an accelerometer can provide a precise estimate of the time before wireless or cellular connectivity is lost.
"The invention is also well suited to be incorporated with mobile devices that are equipped with guidance systems (GPS, accelerometers, etc.) thereby providing an accurate value of the location, velocity, acceleration, elevation, etc. of the wireless mobile device that can be used to give a more precise value of the time remaining until the out of boundary condition is reached," the filing states.
It is one of ideas you would wonder why no one else has thought of this before (assumed that it really works).
What makes this patent even more interesting is the fact that this capability is not only limited to a specific user’s device, but also to other participants in a call. An iPhone/iPod touch could transmit a warning to other participants of a conference call who would then be informed that a call may soon be dropped. The warning itself could be a vibration alert, a ringtone or a symbol on the screen.
"Warnings are only issued for those situations where the loss of signal would affect the user in the here and now and thereby prevent unnecessary (and potentially annoying) warnings being issued," the filing says.