Google's latest patent lets you talk on your smartphone upside down
14th Aug 2012 | 20:18
A smartphone patent for the spatially unaware
A new Google patent aims to help those of us struggling to tell a smartphone's top from its bottom.
The patent outlines a smartphone with both a microphone and speaker at each end, allowing someone to hold the device upside down and still be able to talk normally.
Gyroscope or accelerometer sensors inside the device would detect the phone's orientation, allowing it to activate the correct speaker and microphone for how the handset is held at any given time.
For those who like to lounge and talk, the patent doesn't discuss how a device would cope with someone holding their smartphone sideways while lying down.
Talking upside down an underserved need
Smartphones generally have a symmetrical design so perhaps this is a frequent mistake when answering the phone - frequent enough that Google felt the need to patent the idea.
Google is generally known more for its software than hardware, so the likelihood of seeing this patent come to fruition is questionable.
If nothing else, it's an interesting idea for handset makers to implement, even if the convenience doesn't justify the cost of additional parts.