The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nineteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The most interesting one within this group was by far the one relating to 3D Object Recognition Technology that we posted earlier this morning. Yet there were a number of other practical patents published today that were worth noting. The first one pertains to Apple's push notification system. The second patent relates to the magnometer found in some iOS devices that works tightly in conjunction with their "Maps and Compass" app. A third patent relating to iOS touches on "text input using speech data and non-speech data." And finally, a forth patent relates to the timer mechanism in iOS devices designed to automatically shut down the display when not in use so as to conserve energy. All in all Apple Legal gained an important basket of granted patents today.
Apple Wins Patent for a Highly Accurate Magnometer
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to their Maps and Compass App which comes with every iPhone. Our coverage of a related geo-location patent application titled "Apple is Constantly Improving the iPhone's Geo-Location Technology," will present you with more information and graphics on this matter.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 shown above illustrates an exemplary Cartesian coordinate system for describing the Earth's geomagnetic field in accordance with some implementations; FIG. 1B illustrates an exemplary 2-axis magnetometer though they could also be 3-axis. In some implementations, 2-axis magnetometer sensor configuration 100 could be used to calculate a heading for a variety of applications, including applications running on a mobile device.
Apple's First Claim: A method performed by a processor of a mobile telephone having a magnetometer, the method comprising: determining an accuracy metric based on magnetometer measurements output by the magnetometer during a calibration or recalibration procedure; and presenting an indication of the accuracy metric on the mobile telephone.
Apple's Sixth Claim: A mobile telephone, comprising: a touch sensitive display; a magnetometer; and a processor coupled to the magnetometer, the processor configured for: determining an accuracy metric based on magnetometer measurements output by the magnetometer during a calibration or recalibration procedure; and presenting an indication of the accuracy metric on the touch sensitive display.
To review Apple's other ten patent claims and invention detailing, see granted patent 8,061,049. Apple credits Robert Mayor, Patrick Piemonte, Ronald Huang and Parin Patel as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q1 2011 from a continuous patent dating back to 2009.
Apple Wins a Patent for their Push Notification Service
Apple's MobileMe debuted in 2008 and today's newly granted patent for push notifications dates back to June 2009. Considering that the patent's background lists MobileMe by name is telling. Apple would never forecast a product in a patent by its new marketing brand prior to launch. That would just never, ever happen. So this indicates that this granted patent is covering the next generation of push notifications for iOS devices and beyond. Whether this directly relates to iCloud is unknown at this time.
Apple's Patent Background
Users of the mobile devices (laptops, palmtops, mobile phones, smart phones, multimedia phones, portable media players, GPS units, mobile gaming systems, etc.) may have applications installed that periodically receive notification messages from notification services.
For example, such applications include "push" e-mail services (e.g., MobileMe, Microsoft Exchange, ActiveSync, Push-IMAP, Yahoo! Push, etc.), or other push services (e.g., update/upgrade services, news services, web blog services, podcast services, social networking services, or other types of services where notification messages may be sent). Notification messages typically represent events of interest, which are typically defined by the applications (e.g., new e-mail indicator, new news item indicator, new podcast indicator, change of on-line status of a social networking friend, etc.).
The increase in the use of mobile devices magnifies the complexity of routing notification messages to those devices. One problem is that mobile devices are not inherently addressable; for example, there is currently no mobile version of IPv6. In other words, mobile devices do not have their own IP addresses in the same way that a desktop computer, or even a laptop computer, has an IP address. Furthermore, mobile devices are sometimes logically behind a service provider firewall that likely employs network address translation (NAT). Such firewalls are applicable both within the cellular context and the Wi-Fi context. Given that mobile devices are not inherently addressable, it is difficult to route messages to a mobile device, particularly on a large scale.
Apple's granted patent technically covers a system for routing notification messages which includes a plurality of gateways, or gateway devices. Each gateway device is associated with a zone, and each gateway maintains presence information for mobile devices associated with that zone. This system also includes a plurality of courier devices, which back-propagate presence information for the mobile devices to respective gateways based at least on a zone associated with each mobile device. The gateways and couriers are dynamically configured such that notification messages could be pushed from a provider application to a mobile device via any gateway and any courier. In other words, the provider could connect to any of the gateways and the device could connect to any of the couriers and the system could appropriately forward the message from the provider to the mobile device on a path through at least one gateway and a courier.
To review Apple's 26 patent claims and invention detailing, see granted patent 8,064,896. Apple credits Kris Bell, Darryl Bleau and Jeffrey Davey as the inventors of this patent.
Granted Design Patents Issued to Apple
The US Patent and Trademark Office have officially granted Apple three new design patents today which cover Apple's sleek aluminum Remote along with "Mail" and "Notes" icons for iOS devices (not shown).
Final Patent Round-Up & Rapid Fire
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:
Apple's iOS Devices with Auto-Dim Timers: Apple's patent generally relates to portable electronic devices with a touch-sensitive display whereby the time period after which the display is dimmed due to user inactivity is extended based on user interaction with the device subsequent to a dimming event.
Consumer Abuse Detection System and Method: generally relates to electronic devices and, more particularly, to techniques for detecting the occurrence of consumer abuse in electronic devices.
Communications System that Provides User-Selectable Data when User is On-Hold: Apple's patent covers telecommunications systems will play music or other prerecorded audio while a user is on hold.
Rapid Fire: Five other granted patents include the following: Providing Text Input using Speech Data and Non-Speech Data; Methods and Systems for Managing Web Feed Content with an Email Client Application; NAT Traversal for Media Conferencing; System and Method for Tagging Data; Momentarily Enabled Electronic Device.
The last granted patent on the rapid fire list note above is interesting as I can't figure out what device this feature could be for. If you have any ideas send me a note. Cheers.
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.
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