Microsoft patents Rich Notifications to boost Lock screen functionality on mobile devices
Early in February 2016, Microsoft applied an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark “Rich Notifications”. In the 27-page publication, Microsoft summarized that the current method and display of notifications on the lock screen has fallen behind on the innovations that make mobile use quick and easy for everyday use.
In the past, notifications (also termed “badges”), have given users a quick glance-able summary on their lock screen of information that may be of interest to the users. The notifications have done a decent job of conveying information to users, including a count associated with the notification, but have fallen short in so far as providing an ability to distinguish a more important notification from another notification. This is because all of the notifications tend to be treated the same way–that is, with an icon and a count. Furthermore, for a user to be able to identify a communication associated with a more important notification, the user first has to ascertain which notifications are more important. To do this, particularly from the device’s lock screen, the user has to unlock the screen, go to the start menu, find the particular application associated with the notification, and access the application in order to act on the notification. Over time, this can have the undesirable effect of forcing the user to perform multiple actions in order to simply access an application for which a communication has been received.