Future Blackberrys Could Be Context-Aware


Context-Aware Blackberry (Image courtesy RIM)By Andrew Liszewski

It seems Research in Motion, the company behind the ridiculously popular Blackberry is working on a clever new feature for future versions of their phones that will essentially make the devices aware of where they are. And I don’t mean where on the planet they are via some GPS chip, no this feature will be able to tell if the phone is in a user’s hand, pocket or even sitting on a table.

Every so often the phone will vibrate for a very brief moment that’s short enough to not be mistaken for an alert of some kind but long enough for an accelerometer inside to determine how much the phone moves about. Then based on that amount of movement the phone will be able to determine if it’s sitting on a flat table, being held in a hand or is buried in a pocket allowing it to then adjust its behaviour accordingly. For example when inside a pocket it will turn on the vibrating alert and shut the screen off to save power, or if on a table it will turn up the ringer volume assuming you will be in the nearby vicinity.

For now RIM is still in the patent application stage for this feature but the idea is definitely a clever use of existing technologies.

[Context-Aware Blackberry Patent] VIA [New Scientist Invention Blog]