Microsoft patents an “inconspicuous mode” for smartphones


There are already a few different modes that our phones can be in, but Microsoft has patented a new one that would make smartphones much less annoying in movie theaters. Known as “inconspicuous mode,” this new mode would be manually activated by the user or automatically activated using various sensors and would adjust brightness, mute sounds, and minimize distractions when the users is in a theater or about to sleep. 

Granted on January 13, the patent details an “inconspicuous mode” which would automatically adjust brightness, mute sounds and offer reduced information on the lock screen when the owner goes to the theater or is about to head to bed. Inconspicuous mode would be triggered using sensors on the device when visiting a venue like a movie theater, or could be manually enabled by the user. The patent application calls out detecting when the mode is required using GPS, sound, NFC, Wi-FI MAC addresses and other data, like the purchase of movie tickets in the device’s browser. It also points out that the mode could be enabled using analysis of a user’s calendar, saying that if an event for seeing a movie were found in the calendar, the device could use this to automatically enter inconspicuous mode.


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