Microsoft looks to patent Inconspicuous Mode for Windows Phones

first_imgMicrosoft has applied for a new patent that describes something called “Inconspicuous” Mode. Based on the descriptions and images in the application, it’s something like a souped-up take on the silent mode you can activate on an iPhone with the flick of a switch.Inconspicuous Mode would beyond simply disabling audio alerts, however. Microsoft also plans to reduce the amount of visual information presented on the lock screen. Just about everything has been removed, from cellular connection and power information at the top to calendar details and status alerts at the bottom. Even the wallpaper image has been cleared away, leaving a spartan screen that shows only the current time and an exclamation mark which serves as a minimal blanket alert.The goal is to offer Windows Phone users a quick and easy way to put their phones into a mode that’s as unobtrusive as possible without having to shut it completely off. Microsoft also mentions keeping the amount of light coming from the screen to a minimum, so it’s possible that Inconspicuous Mode would feature a maximum brightness setting (60% is mentioned in the filing), too. When enabled, a Windows Phone would be less distracting to others, say, in a movie theater or a restaurant.As a parent, this is a feature I’d welcome on my phone. While I’m not one to post on Facebook or text during a movie (especially when tickets cost what they do), I do need to make sure that the babysitter can still get my attention if there’s an urgent matter at home. If that can happen without annoying the folks around me, I’d certainly make sure Inconspicuous Mode was enabled before the lights went down.USPTO, via ZDnetlast_img