The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 18 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first granted patent report of the day we covered Apple being granted a major patent relating to both tablets and a possible future iMac Touch Display. In this second granted patent report of the day we cover two original 2007 touch-related iPhone patents that kick-started the smartphone revolution in earnest. One covers Apple's iPhone display using an electrostatic model for functionality and the other covers how content including video, switches between portrait and landscape modes.
Apple is Granted a Key Multi-Touch Related Patent
Apple has been granted a patent relating to user interfaces, and in particular, to user interfaces that employ touch-sensitive displays and include content-dependent touch sensitivity.
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone back in the summer of 2007, he described the traditional smartphones of the day as not being all that smart. At that point in time, traditional smartphone OEMs were adding more and more physical pushbuttons, overloading the functions of pushbuttons, or using complex menu systems to allow a user to access, store and manipulate data. Those conventional user interfaces often resulted in complicated key sequences and menu hierarchies that had to be memorized by the user.
Apple's revolutionary iPhone did away with all of that, and today's patent titled "Portable electronic device with content-dependent touch sensitivity," illustrates how Apple remedied those problems with a touch sensitive display for use with your fingers.
Some of the Patent's Key Points
Apple's granted patent covers a method which includes displaying a plurality of icons on a touch-sensitive display. It detects a contact region when a user makes contact with the touch-sensitive display and determines whether the contact region corresponds to one of the plurality of icons in accordance with an electrostatic model.
A respective icon in the plurality of icons may be assigned a respective charge Q, including a respective magnitude, in the electrostatic model. The respective charge Q may include a respective sign. The respective charge Q may be determined in accordance with a risk assessment for activation of the respective icon.
The respective charge Q is modeled as a point charge. In some embodiments, the respective charge Q is modeled as a charge distributed over a respective area in the touch-sensitive display.
In some embodiments, the method further includes determining a total field at a contact position by linear superposition of fields corresponding to respective charges for one or more of the plurality of icons. In some embodiments, the method further includes determining whether a function corresponding to the respective icon is activated, at least in part, in accordance with a direction of the total field and/or when a user makes and breaks contact with the touch-sensitive display.
Apple credits Bas Ording, Scott Forstall, Greg Christie, Stephen Lemay, Imran Chaudhri and Scot Herz as the inventors of this Granted Patent originally filed in Q1 2007.
Apple is Granted a Patent for their iOS Device Video Manager
Apple has been granted another original 2007 patent relating to the iPhone (and now other iOS devices) which covers a multifunctional device with multiple modules, programs or sets of instructions stored in the memory for performing multiple functions.
The user interacts with the GUI primarily through finger contacts and gestures on the touch-sensitive display. In addition to digital video playing, the functions may include telephoning, video conferencing, e-mailing, instant messaging, blogging, digital photographing, digital videoing, web browsing, and/or digital music playing. Instructions for performing these functions may be included in a computer readable storage medium or other computer program product configured for execution by one or more processors.
In accordance with the invention, a computer-implemented method performed on a portable electronic device with a touch screen display includes displaying, in a portrait orientation of the touch screen display, a list of video items. The method also includes automatically displaying, upon user selection of a respective video item in the list, the user selected video item in a landscape orientation of the touch screen display – as shown in the patent figures above.
Apple credits Freddy Anzures, Greg Christie, Scott Forstall and Charles Pisula as the inventors of this Granted Patent titled " Video manager for portable multifunction device," originally filed in Q3 2007. Apple was also granted a second patent related to annimations and gesturing on iOS devices. The first granted patent on this front was granted granted patent 7,903,115 issued in March 2011.
Other Granted Patents Published Today
Management of Files in a Personal Communication Device: Apple' s granted patent goes all the way back to 2005. It covers how the iPod's user interface assists a user in retrieving and accessing stored files. The patent covers scrolling, working with playlists and all manner of accessing your media files on a media device.
Media Management for Groups of Media Items: This granted patent also goes back to 2005 and relates to the iTunes Application where you purchase, import, burn, share, store and set music up in playlists and so forth. It may have taken six years to get approved, but this could really be an important patent going forward in protecting Apple's online "Stores" in legal cases.
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. Patents shouldn't be digested as rumors or fast-tracked according to rumor time tables. Apple patents represent true research that could lead to future products and should be understood in that light. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.