The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 14 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our fourth granted patent report of the day we take a look at a patent that may one day provide 3D Motion to Apple's Mighty Mouse, to their Apple TV Remote, the iPhone and perhaps even a gamepad. The second granted patent that we review today touches on the iPhone's capability of interfacing with high tech gym equipment to monitor your vitals at a higher degree.
Apple Wins a Patent that Could Provide the Magic Mouse, a TV Remote or Gamepad with 3D Capabilities
Technically, Apple has been granted a patent for Motion Plane Correction for MEMs-Based Input Devices – which utilizes a form of nanotechnology.
Apple's patent relates to technology for monitoring motion of electronic input devices, and more particularly to technology for motion plane correction of motion-based input devices. Apple's patent relates to adding a third dimension capability to a possible future version of Apple's Magic Mouse. Yet, the invention could equally be used in context with a remote or game pad. According to Apple's granted patent, the device could relate to without limitation – video game consoles, set-top boxes, televisions, personal computers (whether desktop, laptop, or otherwise), digital video recorders, communications equipment, terminals, mobile devices such as iPhones, and display devices.
Background of Apple's Invention
Conventional input devices, such as computer mice, typically employ optical sensors, track wheels or track balls to control the motion of a cursor or other navigational object on a computer display screen. Other types of input devices that measure a force imparted onto the input device typically incorporate one or more accelerometers for sensing acceleration forces exerted on the input device as it is moved by a user. A velocity of the electronic input device may be calculated and estimated by integrating the measured acceleration over time, and a position estimate of the input device may be calculated by integrating its velocity over time. In this way, motion of an accelerometer-based input device may be translated to motion of a cursor or other navigational object on a computer display screen.
However, many existing methods for tracking two-dimensional motion with accelerometer-based devices do not adequately take into account variations in three-dimensional orientation. For example, an orientation change of only about 0.5 degrees from the horizontal plane can contribute up to 10 mG acceleration in a plane of motion, which can be significant with respect to human initiated motion. Therefore, there is a need for systems and methods that account for a tilt in a plane of motion so as to provide a result that is more indicative of a user's intended motion of the input device.
To further understand this patent, also see our related patent report filed in January 2010 titled "Apple Could Advance Gaming & Paint in Magic Mouse Upgrade."
Apple's First Claim: An electronic input device, comprising: one or more motion sensors operable to generate one or more signals indicative of a measured acceleration of the input device moving in a plane of motion that is tilted relative to a horizontal plane; a processing element coupled to the one or more motion sensors and operable to: receive the one or more signals; based at least in part on the one or more signals, calculate one or more corrected motion values that are indicative of an actual motion of the input device and that compensate for one or more effects of movement in the plane of motion that is tilted relative to the horizontal plane; and determine if an angle of tilt of the plane of motion with respect to the horizontal plane is not outside of a range; and an external interface operable to send one or more signals indicative of the corrected motion values to a receiving device if the angle of tilt of the plane of motion with respect to the horizontal plane is not outside of a range.
To review Apple's other 11 patent claims and invention detailing, see granted patent 8,050,886. Apple credits Farshid Moussavi as the sole inventor of this patent which was originally filed in Q3 2008.
Apple Wins a Patent that Interfaces Portable Media Devices and Sports Equipment
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to how any of their media players could be connected to various kinds of cardio equipment to record data such as calories burned, elapsed time, distance, speed, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, incline, resistance, effort, and other types of information. The sports media system could wirelessly upload your workout data to your home computer and also uniquely allow you to compete with a colleague in the gym or in your city, somewhere else in the country or even on another continent. To provide you with an overview of this technology, see our September 2009 patent application report which covered all of the main particulars.
Apple's First Claim: A method of providing competitive workout data comprising, with a first item of sports equipment: establishing a first communication link with a first media player; receiving media from the first media player through the first communication link; providing the media to a user; receiving user profile data from the media player; generating first workout data, wherein the first workout data depends at least in part on the user profile data; writing the first workout data to the first media player; receiving second workout data directly from a second item of sports equipment; and displaying information based on the first workout data and the second workout data.
To review Apple's other 12 patent claims and invention detailing, see granted patent 8,047,966. Apple credits Jesse Dorogusker, Scott Krueger, Lawrence Bolton, Emily Schubert, Gregory Lydon, Debbie Lambert, Michael Hailey and Donald Ginsberg as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q3 2008.
Final Patent Round-Up
Over and above the granted patents that were specifically reported on today, we present you with links to all of the other granted patents in our Final Patent Round-Up as follows:
Granted patent 8,050,028 titled - Heat dissipation in computing device; patent 8,049,736 - Low EMI capacitive trackpad; 8,051,097 System and method for authentication using a shared table and sorting exponentiation; Patent 8,049,120 - Ultrasonic bonding of discrete plastic parts to metal.
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Here are a Few Great Community Sites covering our Original Report