Patent published on August 24, 2023

Apple's New Patent Could Make Reminders Smarter and More Private

In the high-speed flood of information that characterizes our current technological age, overlooking an essential reminder may occur more often than one might fancy. Whether it's remembering to grab milk on your way home or preparing for an imminent meeting, any assistance is welcome. The recent patent from Apple, numbered as US20230267422A1, promises to do just that, and most importantly, while preserving your privacy.

The core problem addressed by this patent is the struggle that many of us face: remembering important tasks when we are close to a related location or object. This often means that we forget to buy groceries when we are near a supermarket or forget to take important documents when they are lying right in front of us.

These seemingly minor slips can accumulate and cause significant distress. Forgetting a crucial file before an important meeting or neglecting to pick up detergent at the local grocery store can interfere with our productivity and convenience.

Apple's new patent employs an intelligent automated assistant poised to solve these issues, functioning as a 'smart helper.' The solution fills a significant need–providing reminders based on visual context. If told to remind you about something when you're near a specific object, it does precisely that. If you're close but not looking at that object, this smart helper will indicate which direction to look before relaying the reminder.

Imagine a world where you're strolling back home, and your phone reminds you that you need fresh vegetables as you pass by your favorite grocery store. Or you need to submit official documents tomorrow, and as you walk past the home office, your phone reminds you to keep the file ready. The subtlest reminders in the right context may make our lives run smoother.

The patent also emphasizes a crucial aspect of privacy. It attempts to manage personal information data such that it minimizes risks of unintentional or unauthorized access or use. The solution proposed could operate with a bare minimum of personal information, such as a user's current device-requested content and location, thus preserving user privacy.

The 'figures' provided along with the patent illustrates various elements of user interfaces that can be implemented, like block diagrams, portable multifunction devices, and more. They present a detailed view of how this solution could work in real-life scenarios.

Lastly, it's important to highlight that while this promising patent paints a picture of a more productive and convenient world, it's just that - a patent as of now. There is no certainty that it will eventually appear in the market. But if it does, it appears set to elevate our digital assistants to an even more nuanced and integrated level of personal help.

P.S.: Despite such patents offering a thrilling peek into a possible future, they are ultimately concepts and may or may not translate into tangible products in the market.

Explore more