US: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded ‘United States Patent: 8195203’ to Google. According to the USPTO filings in 2011, the patent is for a software-based alert system and is titled ‘location-based mobile device alarm’.
Here are certain excerpts from the patent filing that describe the product:
“This document discusses systems and techniques that may be used to change the behaviour of an alarm clock on a mobile computing device, such as a tablet computer or smartphone, depending on the geographical location of the device. For example, a device alarm may perform in one manner when the device is determined to be in its user’s home, and in another manner when it determines that the user is travelling and away from home.
Also, the categories of information displayed on an ‘alarm’ or ‘clock’ screen of a user’s device may change based on whether the user is determined to be at home or somewhere else. For example, while local sports scores may be displayed adjacent the current time when the user is at home, such information may be replaced by travel information such as the flight status of a flight on which the user is scheduled to travel later in the day.”
This application does sound very useful, but the question arises (again) about whether consumers are willing to further compromise on their privacy to get appropriate alerts based on their location. Granted, such a service will likely, or rather, should definitely, feature the on/off option.