Apple Granted Patent for Proximity-based Volume Control

iPhone patent

Normally, you put your handset on the speaker setting if you need to put the phone down for a second. Some folks may need to increase the volume all the way to hear it. This recently-granted Apple patent shows a method for volume control based on the handset’s proximity to the user’s ear.

It’s simple: the further from your head the iPhone is, the louder it gets. It’s basically just adjusting so that you can hear it when you pull it away, or so that it doesn’t blow your eardrums out if you are close and it’s too loud.

Here’s a portion of the patent:

In accordance with this invention, the acoustic properties of acoustic transducers in a device may be adjusted in the manner described above based on the proximity of the device to a user, or to any other surface that might affect the acoustic impedance at the transducer output. For example, a mobile telephone speaker may perform differently when laid on a table than if held in a user’s hand.

One thing I’d like to see, if it’s possible, is something of a built in limiter. We don’t know if this has happened on phones before, or if it exists or is possible. The idea would be that if something loud happens on the other end, it doesn’t sound too loud, because the volume is limited. Always great for when an angry boss gives you a call and starts yelling.

[via App Advice]

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