Apple is researching iPhone technology that could anticipate your actions

iPhone 5 (Apple STore, whats in the box)

Wouldn’t it be great if your iPhone could learn your behavior, noting you hold your handset with both hands when texting and always use a 45-degree angle when making calls?

That’s essentially the purpose of a newly-discovered Apple patent covering an “intuitive portable electronic device.”

The patent, filed in 2011, polls an array of sensors onboard your smartphone, permitting an iPhone to adjust its behavior without you making the adjustments. Imagine your usually annoying ringtone changing to a bit of Brahms when the phone detects your bedroom’s lower light levels…

In other words, the iPhone – or any iDevice – could predict your behavior. This is how Apple describes its patent for “Electric device with automatic mode switching”:

The portable electronic device is therefore ready to perform a user function when the user desires to perform the function. The user does not have to perform additional steps such as selecting menu options in the GUI or activating a button or switch.

At the heart of the technology is a new situational awareness module which combines signals, such as movement, position and ambient light.

Apple patent 8385039 (drawing 001)

According to Apple’s filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the invention could anticipate actions using an iPod’s click wheel, but also using iPhone usage patterns.

For example, your iPhone could ready a text when detecting the device is held in both hands, versus phone calls usually made with just one hand.

The situational awareness module is also linked to a series of so-called truth tables, seen in the patent drawing below.

Apple patent 8385039 (drawing 003)

These truth tables interpret the sensor messages and apply them to functions which can be customized. For instance, lowered noise levels could signal you’re entering a library, thereby switching on the Do Not Disturb mode.

That anticipated action could be disabled by the user, as well.

Apple patent 8385039 (drawing 002)

The patent is just the latest in a series of technology Apple is working on, suggesting the iPhone is gaining wide usage beyond simply playing games while waiting in lines. In the past, Apple has also filed a patent for intelligently selecting the best-composed photos taken by iPhone photographers.

Other improvements include a patent on providing better haptic feedback, allowing virtual keyboards and apps. As the device has made its way into more companies, Apple has also sought to upgrade its security by linking passwords with images to protect sensitive data.