On February 4, 2016, Microsoft published an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark "Rich Notifications" (first spotted by MSPU). In the 27-page publication, Microsoft summarized that the current method and display of notifications on the lock screen has fallen behind on the innovations that make mobile use quick and easy for everyday use.
Many computing devices such as desktop computing devices and phones, provide content-based notifications to users. These notifications come typically, in the form of an icon which may or may not have a number associated with it. For example, e-mail notifications may come in the form of an envelope icon with a number that represents the number of new emails that have been received. Likewise, weather notifications may come in the form of some type of weather based icon (such as a cloud). Yet the granularity at which such notifications are provided typically requires a user to perform a series of additional actions to access the particular notification and/or the application with which the notification is associated. More generally, to date the user experience with respect to notifications such as those mentioned above and others, has fallen short of providing an efficient, streamlined, and desirable user experience.
The application goes into detail about the importance of having notifications available on the user's phone to quickly and efficiently access directly. Not only that, but the Rich Notification patent describes ways that the notification could be optimized for each user's experience. The Rich Notifications patent request provides a list of possibilities that go into detail about how the notifications could be displayed, the gestures to open up details for each application, and even further in-depth interactions with the apps such as replying to texts, calls, and emails from the lock screen.
The patent offers a series of concept art and diagrams although, for more technical individuals, the patent application is a good long read.