The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 7 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include technologies behind Apple's Macbook housing and Aperture's picture straightening tool. The way that Apple and Google have been snarling at each other lately, you have to wonder if Apple would use this patent to go after Google's Picasa. They wouldn't be that stupid – would they? - Nah.
Granted Patent: Aperture's Picture Straightening Tool
Apple's invention relates to manipulating digital images and, more specifically, to changing the changing the rotational orientation of a digital image relative to the device on which the image is displayed.
How a work of art is presented to a viewer can have a significant effect on whether the aesthetic merits of the work are fully appreciated. For example, if a painting is tilted, viewers may be so distracted by the tilt of the painting that they cannot fully appreciate the painting's aesthetic qualities.
The need to present art at the correct rotational orientation applies equally to photographs. Like paintings, photographs may be badly oriented relative to the surroundings in which they are displayed. However, the visual content of a photograph may also be badly oriented relative to the photograph's own peripheral shape. Specifically, most photographs are captured as rectangular images. If the photographer is not holding the camera perfectly level relative to the ground at the time a photograph is taken, the image in the photograph may appear tilted relative to the rectangular peripheral shape of the photograph. In such cases, if the photograph is displayed in a manner that correctly orients the visual content of the photograph with the viewer, then the peripheral shape of the photograph will appear tilted. Conversely, if the photograph is displayed in a manner that correctly orients the peripheral shape of the photograph with the viewer, then the visual content of the photograph will appear tilted.
One benefit of digital images is that they may be manipulated to compensate for undesirable characteristics in the originally captured image. For example, many software tools are available to brighten a digital photo when the originally captured version of the photo is undesirably dark. Software tools may also be used to adjust the rotational orientation of digital photos. Unfortunately, just as it is often difficult to determine the perfect rotational orientation of a physical painting without a level, it can be difficult to determine the perfect rotational orientation of a digital image. Further, even when adjustments are made to achieve the perfect rotational orientation of the visual content of a digital photo, there remains the problem of what to do about the incorrect rotational orientation of the peripheral shape of the digital photo that results from such adjustments.
Apple's patent solves these problems.
Apple credits Joshua Fagans, Jeffrey Robbin, Timothy Martin and Timothy as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,679,625, originally filed in Q1, 2005. For more information see "Straightening digital images." See this video on Aperture and the straightening tool.
Granted Patent: Display Housing for Computing Device
Apple has been granted a patent for an improved housing for the MacBook and/or computing devices. A first aspect of the improved housing pertains to a computer housing having a logo or other symbol that can be illuminated using light from the backside of a display panel. A second aspect of the invention pertains to a suspended frame that is able to support a display panel within a display housing. A third aspect of the invention pertains to a computing device provided with an internal antenna. A fourth aspect of the invention pertains to a stiffener for a computer housing so as to increase the rigidity and strength of the computer housing. A fifth aspect of the invention pertains to a housing having a logo, symbol or other device that can be illuminated using light from the backside of a display panel. A sixth aspect of the invention pertains to a lid for a computing device, such as a portable computer, that is provided with a translucent housing.
Apple credits Lawrence Lam, Jory Bell, Chris Stringer and Roy Riccomini as the inventors of granted patent 7,679,893, originally filed in Q3 2005.
Other Granted Patents Published Today
Method for variable length decoding using multiple configurable look-up tables: Apple's invention relates to data processing systems using vector processing and Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) architecture, more particularly to variable length decoding using multiple look-up tables.
Multiple Media Type Synchronization between Host Computer and Media Device: Apple's invention relates to improved techniques for transferring media assets between a host computer and a media device. The transfer of media assets between a host computer and a media device can be referred to as synchronization. According to one aspect of the invention, media assets being transferred can be formatted (e.g., rendered) in advance at the host computer and then delivered to the media device. According to another aspect of the invention, media assets can be grouped into collections and transferred on a collection basis. According to still another aspect of the invention, media assets to be transferred can be limited based on an amount of storage capacity available at the media device. According to yet another aspect of the invention, media assets of different media types can be transferred in accordance with different priorities.
The invention can be implemented in numerous ways, including as a method, system, device, apparatus, or computer readable medium.
DMA Controller Configured to Process Control Descriptors and Transfer Descriptors: Apple's invention relates to the field of integrated circuits and, more particularly, to direct memory access (DMA) in systems comprising one or more integrated circuits.
Method and Apparatus for Identifying User-Selectable Regions within Multiple Display Frames: Apple's Abstract: The method and apparatus determine a specific position of a user-selectable region at a particular point in time within a sequence of display frames. The method and apparatus first interpolate between a first matrix representing the user-selectable region at a first point in time and a second matrix representing the user-selectable region at a second point in time. In one embodiment, the matrix generated by this interpolation is then applied to a region definition for the user-selectable region to determine the specific area occupied by the region at the particular point in time. According to one embodiment, the first matrix and the second matrix are both stored within the same sample of a container track. This sample corresponds to one or more frames of the sequence of display frames. In an alternate embodiment, the first matrix and the second matrix are stored in two separate samples of the container track.
Spooling during video format conversions: Apple's invention relates to converting video from one format to another and, more specifically, converting video from an inter-frame compressed format to an independent-frame format (a format in which the video information is represented without inter-frame dependencies).
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application and/or Issued Patent should be read in its entirety for further details.