Context-aware mobile devices

RIM, the maker of the fancy Blackberry devices, has filed a patent application for a technique that allows devices to ‘guess’ in what kind of environment they are:

The new Blackberrys would occasionally and very briefly vibrate. This should be too short to be mistaken for a message alert but just long enough for an accelerometer inside the device to measure how much it moves. This tells the Blackberry whether it is on top of a flat table, in a person’s hand or stuffed inside a pocket.

On a table, the Blackberry rings loudly to announce a call. Inside a pocket, it shuts off the screen to save power. And while in the palm of a hand, it leaves the screen lit but switches to vibrate when it has a message to deliver.

But that is only one way to guess the situation it’s in. If we call the above vibrate-and-sense method a kind of ‘feeling’, what if we took a look at all five senses?

Watch out, at some point we all will give names to our mobile devices, and have actual conversations with them.

💬 mobile 💬 smartphones