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Detecting the task being performed by a user, using devices with a Gyroscope, accelerometer and light sensor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000206140D
Publication Date: 2011-Apr-14
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Mobile phones typically have a variety of sensors that when used in combination can help determine what activity the device user is doing, or what situation the phone may be in. Using the combination of the gyroscope, accelerometer and light sensor it is possible to make assertions about the user's activities that enables mobile applications to provide situationally aware user experience. Examples of these improvements include not switching a phone screen on in the dark if a phone is knocked, but switching it on if the phone is picked up, and increasing the volume if the phone is being carried in a bag. A database of mappings of sensor value combinations to potential user activities combined with access to gyroscope, accelerometer and light sensor data through APIs enables developers to add situationally aware features to their applications.

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Detecting the task being performed by a user , using devices with a Gyroscope, accelerometer and light sensor

Currently mobile phones are not intuitive enough to understand
what task a user is performing and use it for enhancing the
user experience. For instance, if the user is holding the
phone at a tilted angle, they are probably looking at the
screen or if the phone is kept flat on desk then probably the
user is not looking at the screen. Mobile phones typically
have a variety of sensors that when used in combination can
help determine what activity the device user is doing and what
situation the phone may be in. Gyroscopes and accelerometers
can prove to be very useful devices for detecting motion, and
in combination with a light sensor can provide likely
activities that the user is performing. Becoming aware of what
the user is doing would help in providing an improved user
experience such as focus on areas where the user is looking at
currently etc. Current applications of gyroscopes and
accelerometers in phones for example tend to focus more on the
gaming aspects, and the light sensor is used to increase the
brightness in sunny conditions.

    Consider the situation where the user has their phone on
a bedside table. Time alone is not enough to determine that
the user might be asleep - they could be a shift worker, they
might be travelling and have not set the correct time on the
phone for example.The gyroscope and accelerometer would
indicate that the phone is not in use, and the light sensor
indicates it is dark. If the user accidentally knocks the
phone in their sleep, the gyroscope and accelerometer will
have sense a different movement to having been picked up and
held at an angle to be viewed. Because the phone has
determined the user is inactive - in the knocking accidentally
situation, the phone can choose to stay off, but if it detects
that it has been picked up, the phone can turn on and light up
to let the user check the time, or do whatever they want to
do. Now the user picks up the phone and starts browsing some
websites. The angle of tilt of the phone would indicate that
they are looking at the screen now, and for example prevent
the screen from dimming or locking. Ordinarily the phone may
have dimmed because the user has not touched the screen
recently, but they may be reading something. A user actively
reading content on the scree...