The week gone by was a rather fertile one for Apple, with the California based electronics device developer earning grants on several of its patents. One particular patent that caught my attention was this interesting advanced call waiting feature which will replace the existing monotonous display message with more customized data.
Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,412,164 for a “communications system that provides user-selectable data when user is on-hold” reveals a system that provides for user-selectable data, or “adaptive information” to be displayed when a user is on hold during a phone call. Apple had filed the patent application for this technology in November 2011, and earned its grant on April 2, 2013.
What users will get to experience is an automated system in which an on-hold caller will be shown adaptive information, like information related to the weather or even an update on scheduled events in the user’s calendar based on contextual data taken from the phone call. This mechanism of tracking contextual information on real time basis is what is referred to as adaptive information. Here’s a glimpse of what the caller may get to see:
This “adaptive information” has a broad array of possibilities and uses, but relevant to this context it is defined as data that “can be automatically
presented at times when the user may otherwise not expect to be presented with information”. Adaptive information differs from “static information” in more ways that we can immediately think of. Static information usually displays the duration of a call or reveals the caller identity. Adaptive information on the other hand, is generated every time a new connection is made between two callers. By customizing the generated content based on who is on the line, date, time, user’s schedule, location, and other metrics, the system can display news, weather, music or other information that may not necessarily be stored on a user’s device. Thus, information gathered and presented can be pulled from an off-site server if needed.
Information on when and how Apple will make use of this patent is still under wraps. It will be interesting, however, to see if this technology gets incorporated in the next version of the iOS which is likely to be revealed in June.