Microsoft is trying to patent a technology that could reduce glare and noise of smartphones, with an eye to reduce the annoyance factor in public places.
Posted yesterday Patent and Trademark Office of the U.S. patent application entitled “Discrete mode mobile” defines a method to switch a smartphone into a “discrete” mode, either manually or automatically.
In this way, the brightness and the contrast is attenuated while the audio is off. The information shown on the home screen can also be minimized to the screen buffer.
The user would be able to manually change the phone so discreet. The phone can also automatically change based on certain environmental conditions, such as ambient light or sound.
This technology could be useful in a variety of scenarios. One example cited in the patent application is a dark theater full of people where the glare and noise of even a single smartphone is often annoying to others in the audience. Another common example is in bed when a person is trying to sleep, while another plays with a smartphone that practically the whole room lights.
As smartphones have become ubiquitous, have also become more annoying. Microsoft is not the first company to try to find a way to make smartphones more acceptable in public places. Apple recently filed a patent designed to drown out the noise of iPhones in vibrate mode. Whoever gets there first, hopefully the technology will eventually find its way to all smartphones.