The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent that would allow a phone to automatically and intelligently select the best method to contact someone given the current situation. In order to determine what the best communication method would be, the phone would use its GPS, microphone, accelerometer, etc. to determine the best course of action.
For example, the phone’s GPS would notice that you’re driving since it detects that you’re moving at 60 mph, so the phone would automatically notify anyone trying to contact you that you’re busy driving and can’t take a phone call or a text message. Users can also manually choose their best form of communication that they would like — similar to the Do Not Disturb feature in some cases.
The patent also discusses different tiers that you can set for your contacts. You can place your most important contacts in the highest tier, and put your acquaintances in lower tiers. Then you can automatically or manually set parameters based on each tier. There’s also an option to simply meet up if your phone’s GPS discovers that you and your contact are nearby.
Apple first filed for the patent in 2008, so the idea for the technology has been around for a few years. However, like any patent, this may never see the light of day. Although, if implemented correctly, it could come in handy for many users, especially those who are prone to receive annoying phone calls during meetings.