Today the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new system that will determine when a user has exited from a vehicle and automatically perform a series of tasks depending on the location that the user has exited. This invention will tie into future HomeKit and parking related applications.
According to Apple, their invention can be used to determine when a user has reliably exited a vehicle. A vehicle exit can refer to the condition where a user has been driving for a while, and then exits the vehicle for a different transportation mode, such as walking (even if just for a split second before coming to rest a different location outside the vehicle). The determination of the exit can be used for various functions. For example, a determination of an exit can be used to automatically determine a parking location which can be saved for later retrieval by the user.
The system may also determine whether navigation instruction mode needs to be switched from a driving navigation UI to a pedestrian navigation UI. The different UI can be composed of different settings.
For example, if a user is driving, the interface may be set to use voice. Once the user has exited the vehicle, the interface may be set to provide visual information that's different from CarPlay mode. Different sized fonts, icons, or other objects in the screen can be different sizes, e.g., be smaller and provide more information than the user has exited the vehicle, and is able to view the screen more intently.
Another example would include sending identification to another mobile device when the user has exited and where HomeKit will come in. For instance, Apple notes that if the location corresponds to the user's home, a determination of the exit could cause a signal to be sent to electronics at the user's home (e.g., lighting, heating, cooling, or other functionality).
A Training Phase
Apple notes that in general, data is collected during a training phase to generate likelihood models so that motion data received outside of the training phase can be compared to motion data collected for known activities during the training phase (represented in the likelihood models). The training data is passed through a training module, which associates certain derived values characterizing the motion of a mobile device with certain activities. Each derived value calculated from the training data is associated with the activity indicated in the activity label.
A likelihood model generator in the training module calculates likelihood models that define the likelihood that certain features are present or have particular values when the mobile device is associated with a particular activity. In particular, certain combinations of derived values associated with an activity may be used to differentiate between the activity and other possible activities. The likelihood models generated by the likelihood model generator define a likelihood that an observed combination of derived values corresponds to a particular activity. The likelihood models can be used to determine a presumed activity based on accelerometer data collected by a mobile device after the training phase is complete.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 noted below shows a block diagram #300 illustrating an exit detection application that can execute on a device.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 noted above shows diagram #400 illustrating motion classifications over time.
Apple credits Xiaoyuan Tu and Anil Kandangath as the inventors of patent application 20150050923 which was originally filed in Q4 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Considering that the patent covers automatic parking location technology, see these other related parking patent applications: 1) Apple Invents another Find Your Vehicle App for iPhone Users, 2) Apple Invents Seamless Outdoor to Indoor Map Transitioning and, 3) Apple Reveals an Advanced Indoor Mobile Location Application for Finding a Vehicle in a Parking Structure
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