Patent filings provide glimpse at future iPhone features

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Recent patent applications filed by Apple have provided clues as to where the company may take its iPhone interface in the coming years. In particular, MacRumors is reporting about a patent published just a couple of weeks ago that explores the possibility of using motion-sensing for adapting the interface to different situations. The idea is that your iPhone will be able detect if you're jogging, or perhaps on a particularly rocky bus ride, and alter the look of the interface with bigger elements to make it easier for you to view.

A second patent proposes the use of motion-based gestures to invoke specific commands rather than relying on on-screen buttons. Apple already supports this to some degree – users can shuffle songs on the iPhone by shaking it, for example – but the patent details a more advanced system where additional uses of onscreen buttons or bezel touch detection could prevent accidental gesturing.

Aside from these motion and gesture-detecting technologies, the patent diagram also reveals a front-facing camera, which has sparked speculation that Apple might be adding videoconferencing capabilities to its smartphone. The first and second-generation iPhone don’t include video recording at all, at least not officially, but the feature is rumored to be coming out this summer with an updated device.

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