Microsoft Patents Above-lock Camera Access In Mobile Devices

One of the key innovation that Microsoft developed with the launch of Windows Phone 7 was the camera key that can be used even when the mobile device is locked.

Mobile devices with cameras often have a locked mode to prevent accidental or unauthorized access to the device. However, in many situations it is desirable to capture a photograph or video without needing to unlock a mobile device (e.g., by using a key combination, entering a personal identification number (PIN), or using fingerprint recognition) in order to quickly and spontaneously “capture the moment.”

Today, all leading mobile operating systems like iOS and Android have emulated this same functionality in one way or the other. Recently, we came across that Microsoft has now applied for a patent for this process.

If Microsoft gets this patent approved, they will add this patent to the list of 300 or more patents that Android devices already violates. Read the abstract after the break.


Apparatus and methods are disclosed for allowing smart phone users to “capture the moment” by allowing easy access to a camera application when a mobile device is in an above-lock (or locked) mode, while also preventing unauthorized access to other smart phone functionality. According to one embodiment of the disclosed technology, a method of operating a mobile device having an above-lock state and a below-lock state comprises receiving input data requesting invocation of an camera application when the mobile device is in the above-lock state and invoking the requested camera application on the device, where one or more functions of the requested application are unavailable as a result of the mobile device being in the above-lock state.

Source: USPTO

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