No, not by Apple but from people who are wrong stopped from using items they own.
Apple has patented a system that will automatically detect when a user is driving, and lock out texting and other potentially distracting activities. The company writes in patent No. 8,706,143, published Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), that the proposed system could use some combination of synching, …
If the car door is on the left, you're in the driver seat (in the USA anyway)
Mmm, get a lot of back-seat drivers over where you are do you?
I'm thankful I don't have an iPhone. Given I often sit in the seat they depict (one distinctly lacking in any vehicle controls) such a system would needlessly bar me, whilst letting the driver sitting to my right text away scot free.
And whilst not normally in the habit of replying to my own posts, I thought I'd point out a little interesting fact…
Here in Australia, the design rules dictate cars that are right-hand drive (as implied above). However, it is quite legal to drive a left-hand drive car on Australian roads (it's possible that they require special permission, I haven't investigated). They're rare, but do exist. There are also dual-control vehicles such as garbage collection trucks.
So any software is going to have to rely on more than just the position within the vehicle, but will also have to take into account the type of vehicle and where the steering wheel(s) is(are) located. This may be possible by means of the camera: then the software has to account for the wide variances in the visual appearance of various cars, and what the steering wheel might look like.
Then there's the problem of vehicles without a steering wheel: motorcycles, bicycles, quad-bikes, as others have already eluded to.
In order for this to work, it'll either need some specialised hardware in the vehicle to accurately derive a location for the device in question within the vehicle, or will require significant computing power to process a snapshot stream from the on-board camera in order to identify visually where in the vehicle the device is being used.
It'll probably be too complex to be practical.
I see you've got the same sort of "infrastructure and service blindess" as many Americans. If it's part of how things work, it's part of the scenery and not registered.
the entire fleet of the US Postal Service delivery jeeps comes to mind. Most, if not all, are right hand drive. They're all over and impossible to miss, but easily ignored.
the latter, and the usual tripe at that..
This isn't an invention, this is simply mashing up some existing tech into something that provides a false sense of security.
Mind... wouldn't pass as a patent in Europe. Besides being too general and too obvious, they would have to deal with patents in place for devices which use the same technology, or tech combo, that govt's have tried to flog as "the new way to do road tax".
And *those* still aren't in every car in europe because there was no guarantee that the data they would slurp could not wind up somewhere unwanted, breaking a stack of privacy laws.
The idea of a patent is that the inventor of an idea to be able to capitalise on their investment in developing that idea, not for anyone who can think of an idea to to patent it just because they thought of it.
If Apple have an actual working prototype of "driver detecting locking" they should be able to patent how it actually works, not obtain patents for every possible combination of technologies which might be put together to make such an idea work.
The very fact that they can apply for patents for things they haven't actually developed at all, is exactly the opposite of what the patent system is supposed to do, which is protect actual innovation and invention.
All this does is prevent anyone who might actually consider innovating in this area from being able to do so unless they pay protection money to Apple.
More fun... How about POLICE texting while riding a motorcycle...
San Antonio, TX...
Houston, TX (VIDEO)...
Guess they shouldn't be allowed to issue tickets to other drivers for texting while driving...
If this is intended to be a feature of iOS 8, I will pass on installing that. If this is to be a feature of iPhone 6, my upgrade isn't until next year, so I will pass on that. If this appears in iPhone 6S, I may just have to pass on that too. That is, if this feature cannot be turned off. If it's an always on type of thing then I'll pass on the iPhone Black Box edition....
Beware of unforeseen consequences:
As the enraged bus driver beats his unresponsive phone furiously on his dashboard.....and stalls the crowded orphanage bus on the rail crossing.....as the white-faced driver of the rapidly approaching munitions train hauls hopelessly on the brake switch.....and stares in horror at the little hands and faces illuminated by the vast headlamp of the juggernaut he was cursed to drive nightly in his dreams forever after!
Whatever one may think about the patentability of what Apple describes, it has nothing at all to do with what you're suggesting. Apple is talking about having the phone figure out where in the car it is by looking at the windows to decide whether it is being held in the hands of the driver.
In the highly unlikely event this was behavior you couldn't turn off, one possible fix would be to set it for the UK (if in the US, or the reverse if in the UK) and then it'll let you text as the driver but not the passenger :)
it may know what side of the road you should be driving on, it has no idea what side of the car though.
I go to France. I can either take my UK spec right hand drive car, or, catch the Eurostar and hire a French spec left hand drive car.
Now, tell me how the phone knows?
Not content with prevent users from making calls due to Apple's own incometence in designing antennas, now that they've fixed that, they're using a patent to prevent users from making calls.
Not only that, the patent drawing prevents the front passenger from making calls, while the driver is free to tweet all they want. Seems they still think the world ends at the US borders.
I have recently been employed in the Ministry of Silly Walks. I feel sure I can add to the dynamism and inventiveness of your research department by adding a good dollop of fatuousness. I am a complete waste of space, pay me lots of money and I'll take the piss like the rest of your remittance men. I have a complete understanding of your C1 & C2 victims. I have many scenarios where it is inappropriate to be texting, so we will make lots of patents and benefit all of mankind......... who own shares.
Thank you Apple for looking after me.
Your future employee with the new Apple brown tongue device.
Good idea - but not one that should be patented. This is an idea that should be mandatory on all devices. In fact, I'd go a stage further and mandate that all screens, regardless of purpose, must be locked out while driving. Sat nav mustn't display a map - the display should be limited to distance and a simple graphic (arrow or roundabout pictograms) that can be understood at a glance.
Common sense dictates that one should keep ones eyes on the road but, sadly, common sense would appear to be a rare and valuable commodity. So, if drivers can't be trusted to be responsible whilst in charge of a couple of tons of hurtling metal, they must be forced to behave. Draconian, yes, sad that it should have to be so, yes.
I've seen families torn apart by reckless driving with a gizmo. If you had too then you'd probably be in support of technological solutions like this.
No. The reason is that a speedometer - especially a speedometer with a needle can be understood at a glance. The speedometer and rev counter are large so that they can be recognised in a fraction of a second. Ancillary dials, such as the clock, fuel gauge, temperature, boost pressure and so forth are small so that they can't be confused with the speedo or rev counter. You could make an argument for removing the rev counter however.
Warning lights are similarly easy to interpret - and that's the reason why they have a large friendly pictogram on them. It's so that you can understand the message at a glance. Some older cars had the warning lights labelled with text - making them harder to understand at a glance. I don't know of any studies that prove this, however I do have a rather elderly car - so I cite my experience.
Similarly, mirrors can be interpreted at a glance. Car or cyclist approaching in mirror, don't manoeuvre (simples) - although if you rely only on your mirrors and don't quickly glance over your shoulder before executing a manoeuvre then I recommend that you chat to a motorcyclist or two.
The problem with a moving map, or a gloriously animated touch user interface where the controls necessarily change depending on context, is that they rely on you to spend time interpreting the content - time that you should be spending looking at the road. So, for a moving map (your choice of example), you can easily see where you are on the map (big arrow or car icon - easy, innit), but you can't quickly see where the map is in the context of the wider world. Now you might argue that a quick button press will sort that out - placing you on the zoomed out view screen - but that just compounds the problem as you're now spending time interacting with the device.
Once you have set your route, all you really need is a distance to the next manoeuvre, a pictogram representing what that manoeuvre is and, for numbered roads (M1, A38, B456 etc) the road number. Anything else is a distraction.
So, it figures out where I am sat and stops certain functions from working...
when the phone is on the centre console, it can tell if the driver or the passenger is typing?
when using a right hand drive car in a left hand drive country?
when hiring a left hand drive car?
driving a McLaren F1?
if I'm sat behind the driver, it knows I'm in the second row of seats at not in a 2-seater?
I'll ignore the grammar corrections, they're not important. However.. "you didn't read the patent did you?"
Too bloody right I didn't. I don't have to. Same as I don't have to read any of Apple's patents, for technology they haven't actually created.
I goes something like this,,,
A patent to <do something> using one or more of.. bluetooth, NFC (even though they don't use it), wi-fi, GPS, light sensors, proximity sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, cameras, teleporters, phasers, light sabres, transmogrifiers, fairy dust, unicorn shit or hen's teeth. Mix this up in a magic wishing pot, wave a wand and shout "Izzy Whizzy let's get busy", in your best Sooty voice, and add reams of legal crap. Bung all that in an official-looking patent application and wait for it to be granted.
At no point do you actually have to attempt to develop the technology, idea, thought, whatever. All you do is patent something, and sit back and wait for some poor sod, who has spent years trying to get this to work, to produce a working prototype, and then sue the arse off him. Alternatively, buy them out, absorb them and claim the glory for the brilliant idea you had, all by yourself.
Personally, as I said earlier, I don't think that this should be patented at all. It should be freely available to all device makers, and mandatory.
Extending that thought, I'm not convinced that patents should be handed out like sweeties. It holds us back, and prevents us achieving all that we can - it requires people to reinvent the wheel in order to avoid spurious patent trolling.
Copyright on look and feel or source code, fine. I can handle that. Patents? Nope. I don't like that so much!
It would be best to have the phone enabled to be operated by any of the passengers. There was a system devised where the vehicle has a device installed that senses if the phone is in front of the steering column and being held by the driver. It is designed to be very difficult to bypass. Only the local emergency number can be dialed, or the phone can be answered or hung up. There would be some logistics where the phone can not be used for other than emergency (911) unless a hands free unit is working with it.
The automobile companies would have to get involved. Royalty and patent issues would have to be worked out. This type of system would save a lot of lives. There has to be a serious and costly penalty for those who implement a way to bypass this safety system. The fine has to be at least a few thousand dollars with a court hearing. If the fine is only a few hundred dollars and no court appearance there are many people who would still bypass this. I have personally seen people texting and talking on their phone to their ear while driving. When mentioning they can get a ticket they tell me they don't care because the ticket is not expensive.
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