Patents are so interesting in my opinion. A lot of them never come to fruition in end products but companies love to patent ideas as a just in case measure. This latest patent from RIM has to do with the volume of the speaker going up or down depending on the placement of the BlackBerry on one's ear. The closer you hold it to your ear the louder the speaker volume gets and vice versa.
Here's how the patent is technically described:
A degree of seal of an ear about a speaker port may be estimated by detecting touch contact between the ear and at least one touch sensor in fixed relation to the speaker port. The degree of seal is estimated based on the detected touch contact. Based upon the estimated degree of seal, the acoustic output of the speaker may be adjusted. The adjustment may compensate for perceived changes to the quality of the acoustic output resulting from the degree of seal. The at least one touch sensor may be a plurality of touch sensors spaced around the speaker port. Each sensor may have a truncated wedge shape, with a narrow end closest to the speaker port. Upon receipt of user input indicative of a high degree of ear seal, a sample of the sensor(s) may be taken and stored for using during future estimation of the degree of seal.
Now this patent is old, like 2007 old but there's a chance this could be of some use in the future from RIM.