The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published an incredible series of 34 granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Today's report mainly focuses on three Apple patents. The first one relates to Apple TV which lists Steve Jobs as one of the inventors; the second one relates to an all-new iPhone 3D modeling application that has yet to surface; and the third relates to Apple's eighth patent win for iChat videoconferencing. But as you could imagine, within Apple's 34 granted patents were a few other little gems, and we cover five of them which touch on such matters as LTE, voice commands and Cover Flow. We finalize our report by covering Apple's three industrial design wins and provide you with links to a whopping 24 other patents that you'll be able to explore at will. All in all it was a huge granted patent day for Apple, and in just a few hours we'll all be treated to yet another Apple event with more new digital goodies for the holiday season. Enjoy the show!
Apple Receives Granted Patent Relating to Apple TV
In his exclusive biography of Steve Jobs, Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying: "I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," he told me. "It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. 'It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."
Taking Apple TV to the next level would have likely been one of Steve Jobs' top projects at Apple. In that light, we see Steve's fingerprint on a newly granted patent this morning that dates back to 2006. The newly granted patent lists Steve Jobs as one of the inventors of the original Apple TV interface along with Rainer Brodersen, Rachel Goldeen, Jeffery Ma, Mihnea Pacurariu, Thomas Madden and Eric Seymour.
The Apple TV related '677 patent titled "Content abstraction presentation along a multidimensional path," covers systems and methods for presenting content abstractions in a user interface. In one example implementation, content menu items related to content are generated, and one of the content menu items is highlighted. A set of content abstractions for the content related to the highlighted content menu item is generated. A multidimensional path is defined, and overlapping depth transitions of the content abstractions are generated. The content abstractions, for example, can be digital representations of movie posters for movie content, or digital representations of cover art for music content, and the like.
In another implementation, content abstractions for a plurality of content items are generated, and a multidimensional path having an ingress terminus and an egress terminus is defined. The content abstractions emerge into the multidimensional path at the ingress terminus and are eliminated from the multidimensional path at the egress terminus. Depth transitions of the content abstractions through the multidimensional path from the ingress terminus to the egress terminus are also generated. Eliminated content abstractions reemerge into the multidimensional path at the ingress terminus.
In one implementation, the media engines could include one or more content-specific engines, such as a movies engine, television program engine, music engine, and the like. Each engine could be instantiated to support content-specific functional processing. For example, a movie engine to support movie-related functions can be instantiated by selecting a "Movies" menu item. Example movie-related functions include purchasing movies, viewing movie previews, viewing movies stored in a user library, and the like. Likewise, a music engine to support music-related functions could be instantiated by selecting a "Music" menu item. Example music-related functions include purchasing music, viewing music playlists, playing music stored in a user library, and the like.
Apple Receives a Granted Patent for a Possible Future iPhone 3D Modeling Application
Apple has received a Granted Patent for a product that has yet to surface. The patent titled "Generating a three-dimensional model using a portable electronic device recording" relates to systems and methods for navigating three-dimensional environments and viewing three-dimensional objects on an electronic device display such as the iPhone based on deterministic movement of the electronic device. This is also directed to systems and methods for recording a video of a three-dimensional environment or three-dimensional object, and processing the video to generate a three-dimensional model that could be navigated in an order other than that of the recording.
In some embodiments, a user could direct an electronic device such as an iPhone to display information that could be associated with three-dimensional navigation such as, for example, three-dimensional models of environments or objects. For example, a user could direct an electronic device to access a mapping application that provides images of what could be seen in some or any direction from a particular location. As another example, a user could direct an electronic device to display a video game in which a user may navigate a virtual world and see, in any direction, what the virtual world resembles (e.g., rendered images of the virtual world's appearance from any location in the virtual world). As still another example, a user could direct the electronic device to display a three-dimensional object (e.g., an object for sale) that the user could manipulate or view from different angles.
It almost sounds like it could be the next step for Apple's new iPhone 5 Panorama camera feature. Think of it as 3D Panorama.
In Fact, Apple's engineering team even used a similar graphic theme for this 3D App as shown below.
Apple credits Richard Tsai, Andrew Just and Brandon Harris as the inventors of Apple's '766 patent which was originally filed in Q1 2009 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. It's interesting to note that Andrew Just who is listed on this granted patent has only been with Apple since January 2011 or a full two years after Apple filed for their patent.
Apple receives their Eighth iChat Videoconferencing Patent
Apple has been granted their eighth videoconferencing patent since 2009 titled "Video communication systems and methods," which relates to systems and methods for removing a background from a video stream of a videoconference participant environment and for optionally adding substitute background video data into the video stream and providing the video stream to videoconference participants.
In a videoconferencing example, an image of a background is stored. Thereafter, video of the background and the participant is received, and the image of the background is subtracted from the video frames. Substitute background video could be merged into the video frames and the merged video frames could be transmitted to a videoconference.
Apple credits Senior VP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall, Jean-Pierre Ciudad, Michael Stochosky, Kurt Knight, Ralph Brunner and Chendi Zhang as the inventors of granted patent 8,294,823 which was originally filed in Q3 2006. You could review information relating to the other seven granted iChat related patents here.
Other Notable Granted Patents
Other notable granted patents published today include: another LTE related patent; a Cover Flow related patent; another multi-touch related patent; another iDevice camera face detection patent; and finally a patent relating to voice commands that has likely been rolled into Apple's Siri architecture. One tiny segment of the patent states:
"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.'" This kind of scenario was presented in a new patent application published in September titled "Apple Patents Point to Siri Controlling iTunes on an iMac & more."
Apple Received Three Granted Design Patents Today
Apple has been granted three design patents today covering the iPad ('468 patent), Apple Remote ('452 patent) and the now defunct iPad Keyboard Dock ('477 patent).
Final Patent Round-Up
Over and above the granted patents that were specifically reported on, we present you with links to the remaining granted patents in our final granted patent round-up as follows:
8,295,302 - Methods and apparatus for ensuring compatibility on a high performance serial bus
8,295,343 - Video bit rate control method
8,295,376 - Method of estimating the symbols of a digital signal and receiver for implementing said method
8,295,395 - Methods and apparatus for partial interference reduction within wireless networks
8,295,682 - Selecting previously-selected segments of a signal
8,294,730 - Anti-aliasing of a graphical object
8,294,781 - System and method for sharpening image data
8,294,865 - Common bus design for a TFT-LCD display
8,292,664 - Internal edge connector
8,294,482 - Systems and methods for testing a peripheral interfacing with a processor according to a high-speed serial interface protocol
8,296,348 - Encoding and decoding data arrays
8,296,776 - Efficient mechanism for terminating applications
8,296,558 - Method and apparatus for securing communication between a mobile node and a network
8,296,833 - System connections and user interfaces
8,296,332 - Visual manipulation of database schema
8,296,282 - Creation of a virtual community
8,295,711 - Frequency-agile infrared receiver
8,295,040 - Cooling arrangement for small form factor desktop computer (which is an older DVD slotted Mac mini)
8,294,850 - LCD panel having improved response
8,294,675 - Touchpad and pick button assembly (MacBook)
8,294,659 - Secondary backlight indicator for portable media devices
8,294,647 - LCD pixel design varying by color
8,292,663 - Audio plug with cosmetic hard shell
8,295,184 - Wireless connection control
Samsung's Joke of the Day
Everyone in the industry knows full well that Apple has been shifting their LCD panel business away from Samsung to OEMs such as Sharp, LG and AU Optics as fast as humanly possible. In fact Apple locked Samsung out of any of the LCD business for the new iPad mini. Well, that doesn't sound good for Samsung and so, like their court antics, have decided to go public with their PR reinvention of the facts and say that they are terminating their contract with Apple - as in giving them the boot. Ha! Are these guys funny lunatics are what?!
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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