Apple looks at iPhone that knows when you want to take a photo

It’ll probably be a while before an iPhone will know you want to take a picture by reading your mind. But your body is a different story.

If Apple goes ahead with technology it’s seeking to patent, to open a camera app from a locked screen by reading your movements, there will be no need to unlock the phone, or even to swipe upward on the camera icon at a locked screen’s bottom right, to shoot photos or video.

All an iPhone user will need to do is hold the camera in the horizontal “landscape” position or the vertical “portrait” position for a specific amount of time — one second is given as an example — and the camera app will open.

Thus the user will be less likely to miss “a fleeting moment,” said Apple’s application to patent an “Apparatus and Method for Automatically Activating a Camera Application Based on Detecting an Intent to Capture a Photograph or a Video.” The company made the application in March and it was made public by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday.

The movement and orientation sensors of iPhones would detect when a phone has been raised to the landscape or portrait positions. The technology would prevent the camera from opening when a user has a phone in a horizontal or vertical position but doesn’t plan on taking a photo: The “proximity sensor” that tells the iPhone when it’s close to a user’s face would detect nearby objects that would indicate the user isn’t preparing to shoot a photo or video.

Conversely, if the user is intending to take a picture and puts the phone into position a little off-axis, the phone’s processor would account for the imprecision and open the app.

Inventor Conrad Schultz of San Jose, a senior software engineer at Apple, anticipated the scenario of someone answering a call while their iPhone is locked, then wanting to take a picture while still on the phone. The user can just hold the phone away from their face in one of the two positions, and the camera will open.

The technology could also be used on tablets, such as the iPad, the application suggested.


Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 7 at the product launch held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco in September 2016. (Photo by Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)


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  • Gosh, what to say… Oh, yes – screw Apple and their entire agenda. Keep it simple.