apple iphone proximitypatent Apple patents iPhone automatic sound adjustment based on proximity

Apple has patented technology for the iPhone that will automatically adjust the speaker volume depending on how close the device is to the user.

Apple has patented technology for the iPhone that will automatically adjust the speaker volume depending on how close the device is to the user.
 
The patent, numbered 8,452,020, was filed all the way back in 2008, but was only published today. It covers the “adjustment of acoustic properties based on proximity detection,” a feature that may be implemented in a future iPhone model.
 
The technology means the infrared sensor at the front of the iPhone, which automatically turns off the display once the device is brought to the user's ear, could be used to sense the proximity of the smartphone to the user and adjust the volume accordingly.
 
apple iphone proximitypatent Apple patents iPhone automatic sound adjustment based on proximity
 
Perhaps the most useful implementation of this is when the user accepts a call, but then places the device on a table. The iPhone will recognise that it is no longer near the user and will switch to speaker mode instead.
 
Likewise, once the use picks up the phone again and brings it close to their ear, the sound will adjust, initially lowering in volume until it switches to the smartphone receiver.
 
The problem for Apple is the potential for irritating bugs, such as the 2010 problem with the proximity sensor that randomly turned the display back on during calls. If speaker mode accidentally turned on while a user had an iPhone to his or her ear it could lead to numerous complaintsor potentially lawsuits if hearing impairment is caused by the defect.
 
Source: Apple Insider