A new Apple patent filing for movement-aware interfaces on the iPhone also depicts a front facing camera. Apple is known for filing patents that it never intends to build (why make money on a product when you can make it through licensing?) though this particular filing appears that it might make its way into a new iPhone. If it happens to get into the one expected this summer, well I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.
The patent was filed a few weeks ago.
One problem with existing portable media devices such as cellular telephones is that users can become distracted from other activities while interfacing with the media device’s video display, graphical user interface (GUI), and/or keypad. For example, a runner may carry a personal media device to listen to music or to send/receive cellular telephone calls while running. In a typical personal media device, the runner must look at the device’s display to interact with a media application in order to select a song for playing. Also, the user likely must depress the screen or one or more keys on its keypad to perform the song selection. These interactions with the personal media device can divert the user’s attention from her surroundings which could be dangerous, force the user to interrupt her other activities, or cause the user to interfere with the activities of others within her surroundings.
The more interesting aspect here is that front facing camera, enabling users to video chat on the go, or make video phone calls, a feature readily available on many phones in the UK and Asia. The iPhone community has been begging for such an addition since the first iPhone, and if Apple fulfills the user’s wishes, the iPhone will be a groundbreaking device in the U.S. once again.