Motion-Sensing Phones

Stephen Yagielowicz
One of the biggest appeals for many technologists involved in the entertainment industry is the advancement of modern communications technologies that bring an ever increasing variety of content types to an ever widening array of display devices.

Today, much of the buzz in this arena surrounds the mobile market and one of the most intriguing new applications could have a profound influence on adult mobile app development. It involves using predictive technologies that allow a cellphone to learn its user's movements and thus be able to predict what its user is doing or intends to do.

A team at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, led by communications engineer Arjen Peddemors, has reportedly made significant developments in producing a system that tailors advanced cellular services to the user's behavioral patterns. Such a system could prevent large downloads from beginning when the phone is about to leave network range, for example — but this is only the beginning.

Today, users of Apple's iPhone, which features a motion-sensing accelerometer, are familiar with the device's ability to flip the screen image from vertical to horizontal, or to respond to shaking of the device, as a navigation or selection option.

But the data being collected by this sensitive instrument, Peddemors team found, contains measurements of all of the user's actions — with sufficient detail to illustrate repetitive patterns associated with the performance of certain actions; identifiable through the specific sequence of the user's actions and the timings of those actions.

An app containing a neural network learns the individual user's behaviors and uses that data to predict his further actions and to respond as needed — providing services such as continuing 3G coverage from tower to tower; enabling the full enjoyment of uninterrupted streaming audio services, when the device recognizes that you're on your morning commute, for example.

This type of mass-market application is one way to use the "mobility events" that Peddemors is studying, with other uses being the protection of data streams from heart-rate and other physiological data sensors.

"By predicting the patient's movements, the upload of that critical data won't be attempted unless their behavior says it can be completed," Peddemors said.

On the adult front, the current ability to select a handjob video by shaking your phone, or a blowjob video by simply blowing on it will quickly become surpassed by next generation haptic applications that will make use of these emerging technologies.

But as one might expect, privacy advocates worry about the abuse of such systems.

The Oxford Internet Institute's Ian Brown, a privacy and security expert, said that these predicative technologies "make possible an interesting set of applications."

"But to ensure the user benefits from them — and not, say, behavioral advertisers or law enforcement personnel," Brown says, "the data needs to stay firmly under the control of the individual using it."


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