Apple has reinvented reminders – for iPhone and Apple watch

Apple has reinvented reminders – for iPhone and Apple watch

Conventionally, a reminder is created by specifying a date and time with a reminder message. The reminder message is then displayed at the specified date and time. For example, a meeting reminder reminds a user to attend a scheduled meeting.


But the conventional reminders are not as helpful when it is infeasible for the user to prescience and to specify a date and time ahead of time. For instance, in a case where a user is required to be notified/reminded by a reminder, whenever the user sees/meets a specified person. For such cases, Apple has reinvented the reminders.


Apple has reinvented reminder – for iPhone and Apple watch

According to the patent document, a user sets a reminder on an iPhone/Apple watch device, to get reminded whenever the user meets a specified person, such as Joe (as shown in the figure). Then, the iPhone automatically displays reminders based on social context, without relying on a prior input of a specific date or time at which the reminder should be displayed. These reminders are referred to as social reminders.

For instance, in a case where a user wants to ask a person named “Joe” about a meeting whenever the user interacts with Joe in the future. The social reminder determines Joe to be present in the vicinity of the user when an iPhone or an Apple watch associated with the Joe is detected near the iPhone or the Apple watch associated with the user. The social reminder uses GPS data of the iPhones associated with the user and the Joe, in order to measure a distance between the two. The distance of one to twenty feet is set as a threshold for determining whether two people are physically proximate for purposes of the social reminders.

Further, Apple’s social reminders also capture audio signals from the iPhones associated with the user and the specified person (such as Joe). The iPhones record audio from their respective microphone inputs and the recordings are then compared to determine if a common sound source is within the microphone range of both devices.  The presence of common element(s) in the environment is interpreted as the indicator of physical proximity between electronic devices. Once the social reminder determines that the electronic device associated with the specified person is within a threshold proximity, the reminder is displayed.


A specific date or time is not required from a user in order to be notified/reminded. Apple’s social reminder may be widely used by people who work in large groups. For example, managers who work with a lot of team members may quickly set social reminders to remind them of one or more things they want to speak with the respective team members when they meet them.


So what do you think about this patented technology from Apple? Let us know in the comment section.

Patent Information
Publication Number: 20180007538
Patent Title: Social Reminders
Publication date: 2018-01-04
Filing date: 2017-05-26
Inventors: Devang K. NAIK; PPhilippe P. IERNOT;
Original Assignee: Apple Inc.