People who have experienced sending messages to the wrong recipient, often with very embarrassing results, would probably feel relieved with this new development from Apple. The Cupertino-based tech powerhouse recently applied for a patent that will help users remember who they are texting with by strategically embedding a photo of the recipient in the background of the messaging thread.
This patent application was made by Apple in 2012 and has been published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday. It credits Enrique Rodriguez as the inventor. Once utilized, the technology may enable users of iOS messaging clients like iMessage to be more conscious of the identity of the person or persons they are digitally conversing with by incorporating images of the message?s receiver.
Presently, Apple?s in-house iMessage app only shows the phone number or first name of the contact a user is texting with. Because of that, users may easily lose track of the identity of the person in the other end of the conversion if they are somehow distracted by another task. This is especially true if a user is engaged with multiple conversations at one time.
This invention aims to reduce the potentially catastrophic results of misdirected messages by putting an image to the background of the message window corresponding to the contact recipient. If a user is involved in a group chat, the images of the participant may either be arranged Brady Bunch style, wherein image thumbnails are arranged in a grid pattern, or in Cover Flow style where a spinning carousel of image cards are displayed in the background. Visual cues may also be added such as highlighting the image of the person who sent the last message while putting the images of other contacts in grayscale.
The patent application further adds that this invention may not be restricted only to Apple?s iOS message interface. An application programming interface (API) is also discussed that would eventually pave the way for third-party applications to access the new technology. However, anyone familiar with Apple?s patent application trends can probably predict that this new feature will not be incorporated into their line of devices any time soon. But it is another confirmation that the company is eager in implementing innovations to improve user experience in every way they can.
Photo Source: Apple.com