iPhones might automatically lock doors and set air conditioning when we intend to sleep

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We all perform some regular set of activities before going to sleep. These activities can be brushing teeth, taking the dog out, locking the front door, turning off appliances, setting a morning alarm, checking a calendar etc. Sometimes, we forget to perform some of these activities.

Apple notes in its patent filing which was published yesterday that, sometimes a person can have difficulty falling asleep because they fear that they have forgotten to perform one of these sleep ritual activities. 

Apple wants to solve this problem by tracking our sleep rituals and reminding us when we fail to perform them before going to bed.

Apple’s invention determines our intention to go to sleep and detects the sleep ritual activity that we forget to perform. The invention can automatically perform some of those activities without any user input. The invention also presents reminders on our iPhone.

Apple notes in the patent application that, “In some implementation, the computing device can perform sleep ritual activities (e.g., turning off devices, locking doors, setting the air conditioning, etc.) on behalf of the user in response to user input. In some implementation, the computing device can perform sleep ritual activities on behalf of the user automatically and without user input.”

Apple notes the following advantages of this invention:

  1. By reminding the user to perform sleep ritual activities, the iPhone can help the user get a restful night sleep.
  2. The iPhone can automatically adjust other devices in the user’s home so that the user can get a restful sleep.
  3. The iPhone can help the user conserve energy and create a safe environment for sleeping. 

Apple’s sleep logic can detect when the user falls asleep based on user input. For example, when the user is using his iPhone (e.g., using an application, providing user input, etc.), then the user is performing a conscious human activity and cannot possibly be sleeping.

When the user stops using his iPhone for a period of time (e.g., 5 hours, 7 hours, etc.), then the sleep logic can determine that the user is asleep.

Thus, if, for example, the display of the iPhone is dark (e.g., not illuminated) for a period of 7 hours, Apple’s sleep logic can determine that the user was sleeping during the 7 hour period.

Sleep logic can determine the sleep start time based on the time when the sleep period began. For example, if the last user input before the sleep period was at 10:36 pm, then sleep logic can determine that the sleep period began at 10:36 pm. If the screen went dark at 11:16 pm and stayed dark for 7.5 hours, then sleep logic 120 can determine that the sleep period began at 11:16 pm. 

Apple’s figure 7 is a flow diagram of a process for automatically controlling smart appliances before going to sleep.

Secondary device mentioned in the flow diagram can be a smart appliance or other networked device, such as a smart television, set top box, smart door lock, smart blinds, smart lamp, smart power grid, smart refrigerator, and/or some other home appliance. 

iPhone can also perform process #700 without user input. For example, the iPhone can perform process #700 without performing step #704 and step #706.

In this case, the iPhone will automatically (e.g., without user input) cause each smart appliance (mentioned as secondary device in the figure) to change its current state to the user’s desired device state in response to determining that the user intends to go to sleep at step #702. 

Thus the user can intend to lock the doors and set up the air conditioning.  

iPhone can also present a reminder identifying the sleep ritual activities that the user failed to perform.

For example, the iPhone can present a single reminder that identifies all sleep ritual activities the user failed to perform. It can also present a distinct (e.g., multiple, individual) reminder for each sleep ritual activity the user failed to perform.

Apple’s figure 2, figure 3 and figure 4 illustrate the presentation of iPhone reminders.

Apple’s figure 2 illustrates an example graphical user interface for reminding the user to perform a sleep ritual activity. 
Apple’s figure 3 illustrates an example graphical user interface for alerting a user to the state of a secondary device. 
Apple’s figure 4 illustrates an example graphical user interface for automatically adjusting secondary devices for sleep. 

This patent application of Apple was published by The United States Patent & Trademark Office

It is not known at this point of time when Apple wants to incorporate this invention into iPhones.

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