During yesterday's special iPhone event, Eddy Cue, Senior VP of Internet Software and Services took to the stage to announce that a new version of iTunes. Cue pointed to dramatically simplifying iTunes across devices, building-in iCloud, redesigning the iTunes Store and more. Interestingly enough, the new iTunes won't ship with iPhone-5 but rather later in October. Is Apple prepping it to debut on a new iMac with the Lightning connector? I don't know. But what I do know is that a revised patent application published today by the US Patent Office clearly points to Voice Recognition coming to Apple's desktop. Translation: Siri is coming to a future iMac and the number one app that its being designed to work with is, you got it, iTunes. We'll point you to that patent application and a few other interesting ones that you may want to further explore on your own.
Patent: Electronic Devices with Voice Command and Contextual Data Processing Capabilities
Even though Apple presents the iPhone as one example in patent figure 2, the fact remains that Apple's patent summary point # 9 clearly states the following: "The electronic device may process voice commands locally or voice commands processing may be performed remotely. For example, the electronic device may transmit one or more recorded voice commands and associated contextual information to computing equipment such as a desktop computer." Apple actually goes beyond that to even include "a larger structure such as a table or wall," according to Apple's patent point # 28.
Additionally, Apple's summary point # 12 clearly states the following; "A media playback application on a computer such as the iTunes program of Apple Inc. may take an appropriate action in response to an uploaded voice command and associated contextual data. As an example, the media playback application may present a user with recommended songs for purchase. The songs that are recommended may be songs that are similar to the song that was playing on the electronic device when the user captured the audio clip voice command "find more like this."
Whether the October timeline for the new iTunes is being set to coordinate with a new shiny iMac for Christmas is unknown at this time. But Apple has made it clear in this patent application that they're bringing Siri to the iMac and it'll work with iTunes – at some point in time. Common sense would say that's more than a reasonable expectation over time.
Just to make this a little more interesting, we find that Apple had Aram Lindahl, Apple's Senior Manager, iPod Media Software file this patent under his own name so as to avoid detection by IP news sites like Patently Apple. Legally, Apple will take assignment when the patent is granted by UPSTO. This is common tactic of Apple's and I'm sure other companies, to keep a particular project under the public's radar.
While the project began prior to Apple owning Siri, we could see by this conceptual application what their intent was aiming for. Siri will have only expedited the project. For more on this, see patent 20120232906.
Send us your comments as to whether you think we'll see Siri on the iMac this year or much further into the future?
Patent Title: Zoom Indication for Stabilizing Unstable Video Clips: Superior stability is another feature that Apple touts has come to iDevice cameras in 2012. Apple's patent abstract states that "A computer-implemented method for zoom indication for stabilizing unstable video clips is described. To indicate zoom, a zoom value associated with an unstable segment of a video clip is received. The zoom value represents a value by which frames of the video clip in the unstable segment need to be zoomed to stabilize the unstable segment. An indicia is displayed representing the zoom value in a thumbnail in a user interface. The thumbnail represents the video clip. The indicia displayed over a region in the thumbnail corresponding to the unstable segment in the video clip." For more information on this, see patent application 20120229705
Patent Title: Managing User Interface Control Panels: A computer-implemented method includes displaying a user interface on a display device, the user interface displaying a content item, in response to receiving input, displaying a user interface control panel including a user interface control, the user interface control configured to enable modifying one or more attributes of the content item, and in response to detecting a first selection of the user interface control, displaying a portion of the user interface control panel and hiding a portion of the user interface control panel, the displayed portion of the user interface control panel including the user interface control. For more information on this, see patent application 20120233569.
A few continuation patents published today include: 1) a 2004 application 20120229379 titled "Cursor Transitions," and a 2009 application 20120232682 titled "Providing Media for Synchronized Presentation by Multiple Devices."
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