Apple’s upcoming smartphone iPhone 7 may include a feature that will automatically broadcast to your contacts whether you are available to take calls. On Tuesday, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office granted Apple a patent, which describes a system where the phone automatically sends out instant messaging-style status information that can be viewed by others.

iPhone 7 To Let Others Know If You Are Available To Take Calls [RUMOR]

iPhone 7 could set the bar higher with this feature

In this method, a smartphone automatically sends out its operating status data to a central server. Other users can request the said status from the server to determine whether the first user is available to take a call. The reporting system runs continuously in the background. It uses a lot of contextual information such as location, battery life, current time zone, airplane mode, ringer silence status and cellular strength to automatically determine whether you are available for a call.

On the other end, a potential caller can request status details to make a decision on whether to call right away or wait or communicate via some other methods. It works much like instant messaging apps. If included in the iPhone 7, the feature will prove beneficial in a number of scenarios and save people from the hassle of frequently reconfiguring settings.

The feature may be included in FaceTime

In its patent, Apple says that FaceTime is the primary candidate for implementation of the new feature, but there is a possibility for other platforms as well. The Cupertino company controls FaceTime’s management servers. Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a research note that Apple will deviate from its traditional upgrade cycle by launching the iPhone 7 this year, instead of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Kuo says the upcoming iPhone 7 will feature the Force Touch technology, which is a feature big enough to skip the iPhone 6S. The renowned analyst said that the iPhone 7 will have a 4.7-inch display while the bigger iPhone 7 Plus will feature a 5.5-inch screen.

Apple had filed the automatic status reporting patent in February 2012.