Apple Watch Working To Automatically Limit Text Alerts When Driving

Apple Watch might soon be able to detect when you’re driving and suspend or limit notifications to make sure you’re not distracted while on the road.

According to 9to5Mac, a new patent by Apple shows that the company is working on technology that will allow its watch to determine when you’re driving based on motion detection and then either prevent alerts completely or determine which alerts are important enough to receive while driving. It’s not clear whether this will implemented into the watchOS 4 and iOS 11 later this fall.

There are already a few ways to disable or limit notifications your Apple Watch when driving: CarPlay limits phone, text and direction alerts but will still send users fitness alerts, while Do Not Disturb limits alerts to VIP contacts but still lights up. Theater mode does allow wearers to turn off text alerts and keep the screen from lighting up, but users have to manually enable and disable it.

The patent for the new technology was filed last fall and approved this week. According to it, the feature could be customized by the user and the car manufacturer.

“In some embodiments, the wearable device may instead reroute notifications from the device display or speakers to interface elements within the vehicle, such as an in-dash or heads up display or vehicle speakers, rather than preventing notifications from reaching the user,” the patent wrote.


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