What you need to know
- An Apple patent could reveal several new and very exciting in-car features.
- The patent relates to an electronic device capable of touch and voice input, mounted in the dashboard of a car.
- Possible features include navigation that can calculate if you're late, and automatically send a message to other members of a meeting.
An Apple patent published November 7 could reveal some pretty exciting new in-car features that Apple is working on.
The patent (20190339094) is titled 'Voice and Touch User Interface' and the abstract to the patent reads:
The background of the patent states:
The patent refers to an electronic device, some or all of which may be mounted in a dashboard for use while driving. It would be able to provide informational content, entertainment, navigation, and communication all while keeping driver interaction to a minimum. The electronic devices referred to in the patent could be a device embedded in your dashboard, working separately or connected to a second device, like a phone:
The patent details some amazing new in-car capabilities. For example, the device could be programmed to perform tasks or start applications based on sensory information, either from the device or the car itself, like performing a certain task when you start your engine. Similarly, it can be programmed to invoke certain tasks and applications based on your location as tracked by GPS.
The device could monitor location information, learning your frequently-visited destinations and prioritizing displaying those when you're navigating. It could also associate these with certain times of day, for example, if you get in your car every day at 8 am and drive to work, you'll get a suggestion for that route. It can also suggest destinations based on your calendar appointments.
One very interesting feature is control of audio. According to the patent, the system could arrange your audio clips based on the calculated length of your journey, curating a playlist within a certain threshold (e.g. one minute) of the total duration of your route. It can also find short clips in your music collection, and intersperse them between longer songs to simulate "bumper music" on a radio show. If you pause or skip a track, your audio can be dynamically rearranged to fit your journey time.
If music isn't your thing, the system can generate audio clips from textual news articles and read them to you whilst you drive!
The system can also monitor traffic along your route. If you're going to be late for an appointment in your calendar, an alert will pop up on-screen notifying you. You could then dismiss that alert, or better, send a message to anyone else going to that event in your calendar, notifying them that you'll be late.
There's a whole swathe of dense patent language you can feast your eyes on here. Of course, a patent is no guarantee we will ever see this technology for real, however, some of these in-car features are absolutely incredible. What do you think? Let us know!
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9