Apple patent filing involves an ‘operational safety mode’ for a smart car

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number 20190190858) for an “operational safety mode” that would allow a smart car to inform others trying to call the driver on say, an iPhone or Apple Watch, that the person they’re trying to contact is behind the wheel.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that electronic devices can receive information, including, merely by way of example, communications from other users' electronic devices and/or applications. Such electronic devices can output notifications indicating the arrival of information. 

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However, Apple says that some operational modes involving the output of notifications using electronic devices, are “generally cumbersome and inefficient.” For example, some existing techniques use a complex and time-consuming user interface, which may include multiple key presses or keystrokes. Existing techniques require more time than necessary, wasting user time and device energy. This latter consideration is particularly important in battery-operated devices. 

Apple says its technique provides electronic devices with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for managing the output of notifications. Such methods and interfaces optionally complement or replace other methods for managing the output of notifications.

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.