Apple Patent Turns Your iPhone into a Personal Assistant

A patent application from Apple published on Thursday shows the company is looking at ways to turn your iPhone into a personal assistant that learns from your actions. The patent describes how your iPhone could change the way it displays information and apps based on your habits or mood, and how it could anticipate your needs based on your activities.

Apple patent shows an iPhone that knows your mood and what you're doingApple patent shows an iPhone that knows your mood and what you're doing

Apple's "Determining Preferential Device Behavior" patent describes a system where a device can learn based on a user's behaviors and then build profiles tailored to a specific person. The device could also track moods and use that information to help improve personalization, according to Patently Apple.

The system can also use location tracking to help deliver data and features in context. It could, for example, know when you're at work, at home, or on vacation, and adapt to each situation. If you leave on vacation, your iPhone could automatically shut off your morning alarm, and then reenable it after you return home.

Moods could be detected using the iPhone's built-in cameras and facial recognition, or voice recognition through the built-in mic. In essence, your iPhone could watch and listen to you all the time, just like a real personal assistant would, and react to your needs and mood.

The patent also makes mention of biometric sensors, hinting that the system could also be used as part of Apple's rumored health and fitness tracking plans.

A patent application isn't a promise of coming features, but this one does offer some interesting insight into what Apple may be considering for future iPhone models. An iPhone that can anticipate our needs and react based on what we're doing or how we're feeling, almost like a real person sounds like a very compelling feature.