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The future HomePod could identify users and to monitor some parameters of health

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Published on Mar 19, 2020

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The future HomePod could identify users and to monitor some parameters of health

A new patent application, Apple describes how future devices could use the radar to locate nearby users or their devices. Together with other information such as voice, devices equipped with radar could reconfigure itself according to the preferences of the user. HomePod, for example, you may use this function to distinguish the user in a family that is talking to it, and then offer the Apple subscription Music correct.

U.s. patent no. 20200088870,”electronic Device with transceivers independent radar placed together“, describes a range of different devices in which Apple could add a radar, including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and devices the Internet of Things. But it is particularly interested in solving a problem that occurs with the voice commands, such as using Siri on the HomePod.

“Identify with precision a user to a voice user interface can be a challenge,” notes the patent, “and may make it more difficult to thoroughly customise a speech interface based on your preferences and the needs of a given user.”

The general goal is to have a system that requires “little or no advanced knowledge on the part of a user, or training for the correct operation“. Apple wants the user interface adapts automatically to the user's preferences and his mental model of the activity“.

Therefore, a device can adapt to different users and their preferences, but the device must be sure which the person is currently using. With this proposed solution, the device obtains a transmitter and a radar receiver. Use both to determine what is in the vicinity of the device, and where, exactly, everything is.

This will include other devices, so it might facilitate the capacity of an iPhone, for example, to locate an iPad in the vicinity and send data to it. But it will also users.

“In addition, the electronic device can identify a user, based at least in part on radar measurements,“ continues the patent. “The identification of the person may include determining a specific identity of the individual or an identification attribute or characteristic.”

“The device can detect one or more dimensions of the environment,” continues the patent. “This may include a property of the acoustics of the object in the environment, or property, the acoustics of the environment. For example, it may access a lookup table, stored in memory, with the acoustic properties of different materials and / or objects in the function of the radar measurements. “

Most of the patent is concerned with the identification of a user, and even the surrounding environment. Find out details of the environment may help to adjust the audio playback and could help with the accuracy of the radar measurements.

In addition to determining how near or far a user, a device equipped with radar could evaluate different details about that person. “In addition, based at least in part on the measurements of the radar, the electronic device can determine a vital sign and / or a medical condition of the individual,“ says the patent.

These aspects of health could be extended. In the example of use of the patent, the device may scan from remote different types of vital signs.

“For example, can determine a vital sign of a user (such as a heartbeat, a blood pressure, or respiratory rate) and / or a medical condition (such as a medical emergency, a disease, a physical symptom, such as a tremor, a physical condition, for example dementia based at least in part on the gait of the user, etc) “

Separately, an earlier patent application suggests that Apple is also trying to use the radar systems of small and discrete for the car is autonomous.

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