On September 6, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals some of the technology that is scheduled be integrated into cars from nine auto companies in the fall of 2013.
Apple Advances Synchronization Between iDevices & Vehicles
In Apple's patent background they state that the role of traditional printed maps is being supplanted by modern devices capable of rendering dynamic map displays. Devices that include mapping or navigation applications provide information regarding an area selected by a user by recalling map data from local memory or networked services.
Mapping devices include appropriately configured personal computers as well as dedicated mobile devices, including those found in automobiles, aircraft, and watercraft. Newer mobile devices may integrate mapping features with one or more other functions previously found only in standalone devices, such as computing functions, personal data assistants, cellular telephone service, network access, camera functions, and the ability to play media files and games.
Mapping devices often include the ability to provide directions from a point of origin to a destination. When coupled with any of a number of positioning technologies, a mapping device could display a current position on a map as well as deliver navigation instructions based on the current position to route a user to a desired destination. Positioning technologies include satellite positioning systems such as GPS, information from nearby cellular base stations, information from other mapping devices, and information from other transmitters, such as IEEE 802.x or Bluetooth transmitters, having known locations.
One aspect of Apple's latest invention relates to a method which includes receiving, at a mobile device, location information stored in a memory of a vehicle device, and updating a mobile device based on the location information, where the mobile device is proximate to the location of the vehicle device. The method also includes receiving sensor data from at least one sensor measuring movement of the mobile device, and calculating an estimated location of the mobile device based at least in part on the location information and the sensor data.
One or more of the following features may also be included. The vehicle device could include a GPS system and/or a GPS receiver. At least one sensor could be located within the mobile device, and could be an accelerometer, gyro, and/or compass. Additionally, the mobile device could be in communication with the vehicle device during the updating of the mobile device. The mobile device could be in communication with the vehicle device via a wireless communication and/or via a communication link. Additionally, the location information could include the current location of the vehicle device, the location of a desired destination, the location of an object, or navigation information.
According to one vehicle feature, the contact information that could be displayed on the vehicle device display will include your iPhone's address book and contacts information.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 is a block diagram of an example system/iPhone 400. In an implementation, the iPhone includes an integrated GPS receiver. Alternatively, or in addition, the iPhone could accept a GPS receiver as an accessory.
Apple's patent FIG. 5 is a block diagram of an example synchronization request screen 500 of the iPhone. In an implementation, the request screen could appear after the iPhone is in communication with the vehicle device(s) 405. This could occur after the iPhone is docked or physically connected to the vehicle device(s) 405, or after wireless communication between the two devices is established.
Apple's patent point # 50 specifically adds that "An audio subsystem 326 could be coupled to one or more speakers and a microphone to facilitate voice-enabled functions, such as voice recognition, voice replication, digital recording, and telephony functions."
Scott Forstall, Senior VP of iPhone Software stated back in June of this year, that nine auto companies will be integrating Siri hands-free navigation into select vehicles in 2013. This will fulfill two patents that were published in January of this year along with this current patent which happens to list Forstall as one of the inventors.
Apple's patent FIG. 6 is a block diagram of an example synchronization settings screen 600 for the iPhone. Apple states that when a button is in a disabled state, its appearance changes to a lighter or "grayed out" appearance as shown above.
Apple's patent application was originally filed in Q2 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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