Apple built Siri-specific proximity sensor into iPhone 4S

During iFixit’s teardown of the iPhone 4S, the site came across a component that it couldn’t immediately identify. After subsequent testing, iFixit has determined that the iPhone 4S has an infrared LED that acts as a secondary proximity sensor, and its functions appear to be tied directly to Siri.

All earlier models of iPhones have had a proximity sensor designed to shut the handset’s touchscreen off when you raise it to your ear. This is designed to prevent your face from dialing numbers while you’re on a phone call. The sensor is normally only active during phone calls or when using a VoIP app like Skype.

In contrast, this new infrared LED is constantly active if you have enabled “Raise to Speak” in Siri’s settings. The whole purpose of the sensor is essentially the same as the iPhone’s traditional proximity sensor, just with a different function; instead of deactivating something, this sensor instead activates Siri when you raise it to your ear.

Although the LED is constantly active if you have “Raise to Speak” enabled, it’s most likely drawing a minuscule amount of power and thus not the cause of widely-reported battery issues in the iPhone 4S (which aforthcoming iOS 5 update hopes to address). It’s also worth noting, as iFixit rather humorously does, that although the iPhone 4S will constantly be emitting an infrared beam in your direction as you use it, the beam is completely harmless.

Apple announces new Smart Covers for iPad with sensor!

While the original Apple iPad case didn’t win any design awards, the newest accessory from Apple might just turn heads, during the presentation of the new iPad 2 Apple introduced a new product called Smart Covers.

The case will come in five colors in both polyurethane and leather — the poly costing $39 and the leather $69. The cover is more like a cover flap that leaves the back of the iPad exposed. It’s held on by magnets, which are said to help auto-align the cover with the iPad. It has a microfiber lining that will clean the screen.

cover

As we speculated in the past the cover will wake the iPad when you peel it back, and put it back to sleep when you close it.

Will iPad2 have case cover proximity sensor?

ipad case

Well this is interesting, according to theĀ Brazilian siteĀ Blog do iPhone a new string in iOS 4.3 reveals that Apple might be considering adding a proximity sensor which will enable the iPad to sense when the cover on a case has been opened or closed and correspondingly automatically lock or unlock the device.

It actually makes sense considering that most people open their cases with the intent of using the iPad, so why not turn it and on and off for you without having to hit the power button?