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Automatic Adjustment of Backlight and Audio based on Ambient Light and Noise

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000130494D
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 43K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Problem 1: Using a mobile device in low-light conditions frequently requires additional illumination. One solution is for the user to activate a backlight on the device. The problem with this approach is that it requires direct user intervention (often requiring two hands). In addition, if the backlight shuts off automatically, the user may need to repeat the process multiple times. Another approach to the problem is to always turn the backlight on. Many mobile phones use this approach. The problem with this solution is that the backlight is not always necessary so battery power is unnecessarily wasted. Problem 2: If the user is in a particularly noisy environment, it is frequently difficult to hear the audio alerts from a mobile device. To address this situation, the user must either configure the default alerts so that they are at their loudest setting, or explicitly switch to a "Loud" profile when entering a noisy environment. The first solution is unappealing since it requires the user to tolerate loud alerts even in quiet environments. The second alternative requires that the user know that they are going to be in a loud environment and explicitly switch into and out of a different alert mode when entering and leaving this environment. The proposed solutoin includes a low-cost light sensor on the device. It would be possible to automatically turn the backlight on or off based on the user's actual light conditions. The backlight mode could be configured into one of two (or possibly more) states - Manual or Automatic. In Manual mode, the user would have to turn the backlight on. In Automatic mode, the device would detect the amount of light and turn the back light on if the system determined that it was too dark. The backlight could be shut off automatically if lighting conditions improved, after a pre-determined amount of inactivity, or when the device was holstered. Additionally, the intensity of the backlight could be adjusted based on the level of light. Darker conditions would require a less intense backlight than brighter conditions. This mechanism would reduce battery drain and improve the user's experience. An audio sensor could be added to the device to automatically adjust the volume of audio alerts, the phone speaker, etc. based on the noise level in the user's actual environment. As with the backlight described previously, the audio level could be set to Automatic depending on the user's preference. When in this mode, the device would assess the noise level at the user's current location and determine how much the alert volume would need to be increased. For alerts where the alert volume is Escalating, the rate at which the volume increases could be determined by the amount of ambient noise (e.g. in a loud environment, the volume would increase quickly compared to a quiet environment). Both of these items could be tied in with profiles on the current mobile devices. The device could have low light, bright light, noisy, quiet, etc. profile modifiers that are automatically activated based on the readings from the light and audio sensors. The user could then control how those situations are handled. A key differentiator with this solution from existing solutions is the ability to tie the light and noise level readings to the automatic modification of the device alert configuration (profiles).

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

AUTOMATIC ALERT ADJUSTMENT

Automatic Adjustment of Backlight and Audio based on Ambient Light and Noise

Disclosed Anonymously

Problem 1: Using a mobile device in low-light conditions frequently requires additional illumination. One solution is for the user to activate a backlight on the device. The problem with this approach is that it requires direct user intervention (often requiring two hands). In addition, if the backlight shuts off automatically, the user may need to repeat the process multiple times. Another approach to the problem is to always turn the backlight on. Many mobile phones use this approach. The problem with this solution is that the backlight is not always necessary so battery power is unnecessarily wasted.

Problem 2: If the user is in a particularly noisy environment, it is frequently difficult to hear the audio alerts from a mobile device. To address this situation, the user must either configure the default alerts so that they are at their loudest setting, or explicitly switch to a "Loud" profile when entering a noisy environment. The first solution is unappealing since it requires the user to tolerate loud alerts even in quiet environments. The second alternative requires that the user know that they are going to be in a loud environment and explicitly switch into and out of a different alert mode when entering and leaving this environment.

The proposed solutoin includes a low-cost light sensor on the device.  It would be possible to automatically turn the backlight on or off based on the user's actual light conditions. The backlight mode could be configured into one of two (or possibly more) states - Manual or Automatic. In Manual mode, the user would have to turn the backlight on. In Automatic mode, the device would detect the amount of light and turn th...