The iPhone may one day be able to tell where it is on your body (in your hand, in a belt holster, in a pocket, in a purchase, etc.) and adjust its power levels, accordingly. Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,506,522) for “determination of body location.”
In the patent, Apple notes that modern smartphones include wireless transceivers that allow the smartphones to receive and place telephone calls over cellular voice and/or data networks (e.g., CDMA, 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, etc.). These wireless transceivers can transmit at different power levels.
Transmitting at high power levels can improve the quality of the voice calls. Transmitting at low power levels may be required when the mobile device is worn on or near the user’s body to comply with government regulations.
Apple’s plan is for the iPhone to be able to analyze motion sensor data and proximity sensor data during a voice call to determine whether the mobile device is on a stationary object (e.g., table) or worn on a user’s body (e.g., in the lap or pocket of a user of the mobile device). The mobile device can adjust the transmit power level of the telephony transceiver during the voice call based on the determination.
Apple says particular implementations provide at least the following advantages: the user can experience better quality voice calls when the mobile device is on a stationary object (e.g., a table) during voice call because the voice call can be transmitted using a high transmission power level.