Sony Ericsson’s boffins have come up with the cunning idea of creating phones which automatically change the way they behave, depending on the time, date and place.
The cunning plan was revealed after the New Scientist magazine spotted a patent application by Sony Ericsson for a ‘System method and computer program product for managing themes in a mobile phone’.
Here’s the application abstract:
“Themes provide the mobile phone with changeable characteristics pertaining to the appearance and sound presented by the mobile phone. A theme profile associated with the mobile phone contains data pertaining to which theme to apply to the mobile phone and when to transition to another theme as well as where theme content data is located.
The mobile phone then waits for a triggering event to occur. When such a triggering event occurs, it causes a transition from the currently active theme to another theme. A new theme based on an associated triggering event is applied to the mobile phone changing its look and feel.”
What this means (in slightly less wordy language) is that the phone’s wallpaper display could automatically change to reflect dates logged in the calendar application of a user’s phone.
For example, the wallpaper display on the phone might automatically display a picture of a lovely big cake on the user’s birthday or a sparkling Christmas tree on December 25th.
Travellers touching down in Glasgow airport may be ‘treated’ to a bagpipes ringtone courtesy of a GPS country location signal, or perhaps the phone might blast out some demonic black metal on arrival in the Norwegian hinterland.
A more productive use of the technology could be in restaurants where a list of the day’s menu specials could be delivered direct to the phone’s screen via Bluetooth.
Another use may be in cinemas and theatres where Bluetooth could be used to automatically silence bleeping, ringing and ‘amusing’ ringtones.
The New Scientist article suggests that the feature could be used to keep stockbrokers updated with the latest share prices every 10 minutes or give walkers continually updated weather forecasts with the information being displayed as the phone’s wallpaper.
Happily, priority coding will let users override some automated controls, thus eliminating the prospect of a tinny rendition of KC and the Sunshine Band’s “That’s the Way (I Like It)” blasting out during granddad’s funeral.