A patent that was filed by Research In Motion (RIM) in 2007 was granted today after 5 years. The patent would give RIM the technology to make smartphones have the ability to adjust earpiece volumes based on the “estimated degree of seal of an ear around a speaker.” Given the evolution of phones into smartphones along with the integration of messaging services like Whatsapp, Skype and BlackBerry Messaging, this would be a good reminder that some people do still use a phone as a phone.
Basically what this patent means it that the technology involved would be able to tell based on how hard or close you are pressing your ear to the phone, what the volume of the call should be. The adjustment is done by using the touch sensor and at least one proximity sensor at the top of the phone near the earpiece. The patent opens up an endless avenue for easing the button-mashing habits of some busy users who transition from loud to soft environments and perhaps back again all in one day.