Apple granted patent for a ‘context-aware world clock’

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,563,177) for a “context-aware world clock.” It would allow time information for various locations to be automatically generated for display on a portable electronic device such as an iPhone or Apple Watch. 

According to the patent the time information can include time information for remote locations away from the current location of a user. The time information can be generated without requiring user input specifying the locations. The locations can be determined or identified based on context information of the user or context information of contacts of the user. The locations can be prioritized and the time information can be displayed according to the prioritization.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that ortable electronic devices may have the capability to present time information such as a digital or analog clock on a user interface of the portable electronic device. They may also have the capability to track the location of a user, for example, by using Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. As the user travels to a different city or to a different location, the digital or analog clock presented on the user interface of the portable electronic device can be updated to correspond to the current location of the user. However, in some instances, the user may be interested in knowing the local time of a city or location away from the current location of the user. Apple wants to alleviate this problem.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.