LINE is looking to add some new functionality to its instant messaging platform according to two new patents filed by the company behind the application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which were finalized on Thursday. Specifically, the patents – filed under publication numbers WO/2018/030554 and WO/2018/030553, respectively – detail the incorporation of notification prioritization and intelligent auto-replies. It almost goes without saying that, as with many such applications, there are already third-party add-on applications that will add at least some of the functionality described in the patents. Moreover, there's never any guarantee that any company will ultimately add patented features to its application. Bearing that in mind, these features do seem to be some that would be a useful addition and its always good to see some of the more popular third-party add-ons become a primary part of an app.
With regard to the features themselves, the first outlines a way by which the application would learn to prioritize which messages or interactions should present push notifications. According to the patent, that would not only work with regard to current chats which can be distinguished as being important but also with regard to invitations to chat. That would be accomplished by two methods. First, the system would analyze which user is involved in the conversation, which would presumably include frequency of chats and relationship to the user receiving the notification. Then it would go a step further to analyze the content of a given message to determine whether it is a matter of importance. It isn't immediately clear whether some form of machine learning would be involved or how much individual control the end-user would have over the prioritization but it does appear to act with a degree of separation from Android OS's own notification channeling system. With regard to the second patent, it outlines a method by which the LINE applications would automatically respond to chat invitations or messages based on the status of a given user. For example, it appears as though the software would check the messenger status of a user on the receiving and determine whether an auto-response if appropriate. Then it would activate the sending of an auto-reply based on those parameters.
It isn't immediately clear whether these would be customizable by the user but, presumably, an end user would be able to tweak those conditions and the responses themselves in order to add a bit of their own personality to those. For those who may not already be aware, LINE is available on effectively every platform from Windows and Mac to Android and iOS. It's also one of the most popular pieces of chat software available. That's because it's free to use but includes features such as in-chat gaming, stickers, video chats, person-to-person payments, and its own dedicated social network. More recently, the company incorporated end-to-end chat encryption as well.