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RIM's latest patent details automatic volume adjustments based on handset placement

Darren Murph

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That moment when you physically hurt your ear by mashing your cellphone up against it in a futile bid to hear the person on the other end. That's the very moment that RIM's gunning to make history with its latest patent, which was filed way back in November of 2007 but just granted today. The BlackBerry-maker's patent describes an adjustable acoustic speaker output "based on an estimated degree of seal of an ear about a speaker port" -- effectively a system where the volume can automatically increase if a handset jostles further from your ear. Not surprisingly, the description details "at least one touch sensor" used for detecting the distance between one's ear and the device, and the connecting method of adjusting the audio depending on what information the sensor picks up. We're guessing folks who walk and talk would be keen on taking advantage, but then again, you could just walk around with a Bluetooth headset on. (Keyword being could, not should.)

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