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An interesting leak has emerged online this morning that suggests Samsung is about to bring a new type of light notification technology to the rear case of its smartphones.

Android phones often come with a separate notification LED on the front of the handset that alerts users to missed messages and calls. Otherwise, notifications are usually assumed to relate to the display of a mobile device.

However, leaked specs and images that appeared on Dutch mobile tech site Galaxy Club show a new type of notification system for the back of a phone that Samsung is calling 'Smart Glow'.

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Smart Glow system expected to appear in the Samsung Galaxy J2 (Image: Galaxy Club)

The system features a luminous ring that runs around the handset's rear camera lens and which lights up to alert users, glowing different colors depending on the function in use.

For example, the ring of light will glow to indicate that the rear camera has detected a face, allowing the user to take a selfie with the superior-quality rear lens.

The Smart Glow technology may also be used to communicate alerts when the handset has been placed face down on a surface, allowing users to choose specific colors to indicate particular notification types. Colors will also show when the battery is running low or when it has reached a full charge.

The website suggests that the notification system will appear in the Samsung Galaxy J2, due to launch in India later this year. The feature has yet to be officially announced by Samsung, so the likelihood of its appearance in the company's flagship phones like the Galaxy Note 7 remains unknown.

The idea that Apple might one day try something similar with a future iPhone is not impossible. The most obvious candidate for the implementation of a rear notification system is the iconic Apple logo that appears on the rear of every iPhone.

The same logo on a MacBook lid glows whenever the laptop is opened, and speculation that Apple planned to use a lighted logo on its phones has existed ever since iPhone 6 leaks began appearing showing a chassis cut-out and the use of an embedded logo.

Those rumors were never realized, although third-party hacks do exist that allow iPhone 6 owners to make the logo on their handsets light up using LEDs.

Early rumors for next year's so-called "iPhone 8" suggest the Cupertino company won't debut a spec-bumped, internally upgraded "iPhone 7s", but a completely overhauled handset with major design changes and new, next-generation features, like wireless charging, a Touch ID-equipped OLED display, and no home button.

At its Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this week, Apple announced a raft of updates to notifications and the way that developers are able to present them to users in iOS 10. No hardware announcements accompanied the conference, however.

Update: One of our forum members has noted that a setting in iOS 9's Accessibility options enables visual notifications on an iPhone using the rear LED flash. To use the setting, open the Settings app, tap General -> Accessibility, and Toggle LED Flash for Alerts to ON.

Article Link: Samsung Leak Reveals 'Smart Glow' Rear-Side Notification System for Phones
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,288
I always thought the iPhone could you something like this around the home button (replacing thin metal ring) green for iMessage, red for missed calls.. But now I have an Apple watch so whatev!

That's a really good idea actually, hadn't even thought of that.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68030
Aug 29, 2009
2,503
2,976
I always thought the iPhone could use something like this around the home button (replacing thin metal ring) green for iMessage, red for missed calls.. But now I have an Apple watch so whatevs!
I just press the home button and I can see what messages I missed...
 
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producerlawson

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2015
141
27
York/Birmingham
I always thought the iPhone could use something like this around the home button (replacing thin metal ring) green for iMessage, red for missed calls.. But now I have an Apple watch so whatevs!

That metal ring detects circuitry to activate touch-id though, try unlocking your phone without touching it and it won't necessarily detect your print at first.
 
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balamw

Moderator
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Of course the Apple logos on MacBooks are lit by the display's backlight and can't be independently controlled.

B
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
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In the accessibility options on the iPhone I have it set so that the flash goes off when I get an alert/message. I could see it using the two tone send different shades to represent different types of alerts, with just a tweet to the current code. But frankly, the way it works is good enough for me. Not sure colors would do a whole lot.
 
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Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,597
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Atlanta, USA

The idea that Apple might once day try something similar with a future iPhone is not impossible. The most obvious candidate for the implementation of a rear notification system is the iconic Apple logo that appears on the rear of every iPhone.

Finally. The cases with the goofy-looking circular Apple logo cutout on the back would make sense :)
[doublepost=1466075668][/doublepost]If Apple wanted to do this they could've delivered it years ago by slipping an extra multicolor led in beside the flash LEDs. It would be practically no extra cost or complexity and would be invisible from the outside (except when lit)

They must have good reasons for not doing it.
 

bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,754
Germany
i really like the led notification on my work phone and always missed it on an iPhone. Blue for FB, Yellow for Snapchat, RED for work related stuff. Home Button would be cool for it
 

jayducharme

macrumors 601
Jun 22, 2006
4,069
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The thick of it
They must have good reasons for not doing it.
Since most people carry their phones in their pockets, I'm not sure what good a light on the phone's exterior would do. I assume the major benefit would be knowing that you have a message or voice mail by seeing the glow. But as Pakaku said, it's not much trouble to tap the home button and see what you've missed. You'd do that anyway once you saw the glow, because you'd have to take the phone out of your pocket. And besides, if I have the phone's audio turned off, it buzzes when I get a call or text. If I could customize the buzzing patterns, it would be a better way to know what kind of message I'm getting; I wouldn't even have to look at the phone.
 

Tycho24

Suspended
Aug 29, 2014
2,071
1,394
Florida
I just press the home button and I can see what messages I missed...

Lol, nevermind then! I guess NOBODY would benefit from being able to see at a glance whether they have a missed call or unread text without touching their phone, or lighting up the screen,because you currently press the home button (umm... btw, that's currently the ONLY option, so we probably didn't need for you to mention that).
Seriously, why can't some people get over themselves????!
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
I always thought the iPhone could use something like this around the home button (replacing thin metal ring) green for iMessage, red for missed calls.. But now I have an Apple watch so whatevs!

IIRC, my Palm Pre had this around its home button. (Actually, I think the button itself glowed!)

It was wonderful. You could lay it on its slanted Touchstone wireless charger base, and then from across the room, glance over and see what color it was pulsing, and instantly know if it was an email, text, etc.


They must have good reasons for not doing it.

Well, Apple leaves out neat stuff all the time, for seemingly no reason at all, except to perhaps include it in some future release.

However, sure, perhaps Palm had a patent on it. Need to do some research... hmm.
 

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
2,425
1,558
yeah I just tried turning the LED flash on for notifications...its useless because the flash flashes one time while the phone is vibrating and then doesn't flash again. Any android device that has a notification light the light flashes until you read the notification...making it actually useful...
[doublepost=1466080026][/doublepost]
IIRC, my Palm Pre had this around its home button. (Actually, I think the button itself glowed!)

It was wonderful. You could lay it on its slanted Touchstone wireless charger base, and then from across the room, glance over and see what color it was pulsing, and instantly know if it was an email, text, etc.

too bad HP killed webOS it had a lot of potential. I can see why they gave up on it, and it turns out to be better than clinging to a dying platform like RIM but man there have been a lot of large acquisitions lately that very quickly turned into a huge loss for the companies. I predict this will also be the fate of LinkedIN for Microsoft
 

iFanaddic

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2008
811
234
Montréal, Canada
You guys dont see the possibility besides notifications?
  • Siri remind me to call my mom when I get home... Ring flashes slowly (Pretty much to the same rythm as a sleeping MacBook) indicating that I gave a callback/textback to do.
  • Flashes blue when fingerprint is required for Apple Pay
  • Turns yellow when low battery mode is on
  • An animation of the ring filling up could represent the battery charging up
  • An animation when invoking "Hey Siri"
  • Rapidly blinks in red when in lost mode

These are just a few.. The possibilities are endless!
 
Last edited:

Skika

macrumors 68030
Mar 11, 2009
2,997
1,245
You guys dont see the possibility besides notifications?

Siri remind me to call my mom when I get home... Ring flashes slowly (Pretty much to the same rythm as a sleeping MacBook) idicating that I gave a callback/textback to do.

Flashes blue when fingerprint is required for Apple Pay

Turns yellow when low battery mode is on

An animation of the ring filling up could represent the battery charging u

An animation when invoking "hey Siri "

Rapidly blinks in red when in lost mode

Those are just a few.. The possibilities are endless!

Sorry but most if not all of these are pointless gimmicks.
 
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elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,333
489
Cornwall UK
I have a samsung which has a front led which changes colour depending on what alert I missed.

Rear one not much use as:

A. most cases would cover/obscure it
B. If laying down the rear is not visible. Few people put phones face down on table,etc.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68030
Aug 29, 2009
2,503
2,976
Lol, nevermind then! I guess NOBODY would benefit from being able to see at a glance whether they have a missed call or unread text without touching their phone, or lighting up the screen,because you currently press the home button (umm... btw, that's currently the ONLY option, so we probably didn't need for you to mention that).
Seriously, why can't some people get over themselves????!
Trust me, I've considered the alternatives and still don't think it's the end of the world to have to press the home button.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
I have a samsung which has a front led which changes colour depending on what alert I missed.

Rear one not much use as:

A. most cases would cover/obscure it
B. If laying down the rear is not visible. Few people put phones face down on table,etc.

A. Notice the Samsung LEDs are incorporated into the camera area, which is always intentionally left open by case manufacturers for obvious reasons. So not an issue. Likewise, if Apple incorporated it into the Apple logo, case manufacturers would accomodate it. Again not a problem.
B. Don't know what social circles you run around in, but in most cases I'm in, unless someone is expecting a call, it's polite to lay the phone face down on a table in meetings and lunch/dinner situations, indicating you don't want to be interrupted and your companion has your full attention. A glowing indicator would be ideal toward acknowledging only those messages a person needs to take.
 
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