Windows Phone notification light concept.
A few weeks ago I tweeted about the idea of a webOS style notification light for Windows Phone, I received a few tweets back from my followers saying that they like the idea, so I figured I would write up this post explaining the idea.
Everyone has been talking about the idea of Windows Phone having a notification centre, some like the idea, some hate it, I'm not here to voice my opinions on that, but if it does happen, then people will likely want a notification light to go with it. A standard red/green/blue/etc circle of light at the top of the device is quite dull and boring, Windows Phone has always been about a great UI and design, both on the software and hardware. Before getting a HTC Trophy in 2011, I had a Palm Pixi and a Pre 2, both webOS devices. webOS has been praised for it's great implementation of Notifications, and the way it notifies you when the screen is off. For those that don't know, the led light on the gesture area will glow when there is a notification. (I apologize for the angle of the video below, but it is 1080p, so that's kinda good)
Putting it on Windows Phone
Obviously Windows Phone doesn't have a gesture area, but it does have the three buttons, Back; Start and Search, of which have an LED backlight. This can be used as the notification light. This is the idea - Have the Windows key glow in and out when a notification is received when the screen is off (Or, if the hardware doesn't allow just one of the lights to switch on/change brightness, all three of the buttons will glow.).
Since the three buttons are on every device, there's no need to release new hardware for a notification light, the concept can simply be implemented in a future update. Also, as far as I'm aware, the backlight for the buttons are isolated from the screen, so it will work when the screen is off. Since they're LEDs they'll use the same amount of power as a generic notification light would.
Finally some people might not like it, so to keep everyone happy the light should be able to be turned on and off from Settings as the user sees fit. It's also possible to add some form of 'Do Not Disturb' mode for the lights, so they won't interrupt precious sleep for those who like the room completely dark.
Remember this is just a concept, a feature suggestion if you like. Also remember this would be a companion to the notification center if that happens. So, what do you think? Discussion is welcome but please leave the Notification Center debate out of it, there are plenty of other posts for that.
Edit: I've added this to UserVoice so you can vote and show your support for it http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/3558244-webos-style-notification-light