Today is W-Day — Apple Watch Day. The Cupertino-based tech behemoth is set to reveal final details about its much-hyped Apple Watch product today, setting off a wave of anticipation for the first new major line of hardware to be released in many years.
The timing couldn't have been better then for the United States Patent and Trademark Office to publicly release a patent which explains how Apple plans to integrate user movement across devices into its Apple Pay and Passbook workflows.
The following image is from the patent filing, which shows how the different pieces work together. The movement management system includes two modules to process the inputs, in addition to a stand-alone motion-sensing component that communicates directly with the movement module.
The filing states:
In addition to leveraging motion sensor data that may be provided by motion-sensing component 122, movement management system 301 may leverage various other types of data accessible to device 100 in order to determine the current movement state of device 100, such as data provided by a pass application 103a of device 100 and/or data provided by a calendar application 103b of device 100.
The movement module can then communicate with other on-board applications. The majority of the use cases for this movement sensing utility would be the Passbook and calendar apps so that the interface can determine where the user might be going and if there is a scheduled or ticketed event ahead.
Or, as Apple puts it in one of the operating methods called out in the application:
A method for operating an electronic device comprising: accessing motion sensor data from a motion sensing component of the electronic device; accessing pass data from a pass application of the electronic device; and determining a movement state of the electronic device based on the accessed motion sensor data and the accessed pass data, wherein: the pass data comprises pass information descriptive of a pass; and the determining comprises detecting that the pass information is descriptive of at least one pass time of the following pass times for the pass: a redemption time of the pass; an event start time associated with the pass; and an event end time associated with the pass.
The travel implications here would be that the app could automatically pull up a boarding pass as you approach the agent, thus eliminating the risk of handing over an expensive smartphone to a busy gate agent.
Restaurant reservations would also be a solid use case for this functionality, as the automated tracking could determine whether a user was moving towards a destination with a ticketed itinerary or reservation. This could also be used to offer an easy reminder (similar to Google Now), when the user is apparently forgetting about an engagement.
A future application could also lead to automated re-bookings or other data-driven alterations to itineraries when a user is running late. Or perhaps even a direct connection to a service like Lyft for a fast pickup when running behind schedule.
Basically, the ability for the iOS software to add in motion sensors, alongside GPS data, into the Passbook/calendar experience sets Apple up to compete directly with Google Now while also nicely integrating the smaller Apple Watch motion-sensor into the ecosystem.
The patent application also calls out the various functions of the phone in the following image, which breaks down the various component pieces of an iPhone to ensure that the filing reflects how each of the features would play out and potentially be engaged in the system.
Relating to Number 182, the calendar and text app, this is how the interactions might work:
[The screen] may display screens of a specific user interface that may include one or more tools or features for interacting with one or more events or other reminders that may be time-sensitive in a specific manner. For each application, screens may be displayed on display output component 112a and may include various user interface elements. Additionally or alternatively, for each application, various other types of non-visual information may be provided to a user via various other output components 112 of device 100.
All of these interactions would work very well using the Apple Watch's location right on the body, and would be handy to deliver timely updates with real-time impact on the user experience.
Click here to read the full patent publication.
NB: Businessman movement image courtesy Shutterstock.