On December 20, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of eight original patent applications from Apple. In our first report this morning, we focused on a single invention relating to enhanced haptics for future keyboards and more. In our second and final patent report of the day we present you with a brief roundup of the other original patents that were published today covering Passbook, Accessibility, duplex audio and much more.
Apple's Passbook Patent Comes to Light
Today, one of Apple's Passbook patents have come to light. Apple's Passbook is an application in iOS that allows users to store coupons, boarding passes, tickets including concert tickets, store cards and other forms of mobile payment. It was designed by Apple and announced at the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 11, 2012. The application was released with iOS 6 on September 19, 2012. Passbook is a key part of Apple's future iWallet that they've described in many previously published patent applications.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a paper coupon being entered into the user's coupon wallet; FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary coupon reminder on a mobile device; and FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary coupon stored in the user's coupon wallet.
Apple credits Ryan Klems as the sole inventor of this patent which was originally filed in Q2 2011. For those wishing to dig further into Apple's Passbook patent, see patent application 20120323664. Chalk up another patent fulfilled.
Other New Patent Applications Published Today
The following are Apple's other patent applications published by the US Patent Office today:
20120321112: Titled "Selecting Digital Stream Based on an Audio Sample." Apple's patent application generally relates to their Accessibility features for the disabled. In this patent application, Apple describes one or more digital streams that could be selected from a number of received digital streams by a portable device. At least one of the digital streams could thereafter be transmitted to a hearing aid device connected to the portable device.
20120323797: Titled "System for Back Tracing a Component used in Manufacture." Apple's patent application generally relates to maintaining the traceability of manufacturing components. More specifically, tracking the origin of light emitting diodes (LEDs) affixed to a lightbar using a component tracking database for tracking the position of LEDs affixed to a lightbar during a lightbar manufacturing process is disclosed.
20120320807: Titled "Duplex Audio for Mobile Communication Device and Accessory." Apple's patent application generally relates to providing duplex audio operation between an accessory and a mobile communication device. The mobile communication device in some embodiments has a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing the device to be used as a telephone handset, voice recorder, audio player, or the like. The mobile communication device could incorporate echo cancellation processing between the built-in speaker and microphone. For example, to the extent that the built-in microphone picks up sounds emanating from the built-in speaker, the mobile communication device could cancel this contribution to the microphone signal, thus providing a cleaner sound experience. Some mobile communication devices are designed to automatically perform echo cancellation during a phone call or at other times when sound is concurrently being produced by the device's speaker and detected by the device's microphone.
20120324107: Titled "Shared Access to a Local Service"
20120319666: Titled "Low Noise External Enable Switcher Control Signal using On-Chip Switcher."
20120321184: Titled "Video Acquisition with Processing based on Ancillary Data." Apple's patent application generally relates to techniques and systems that could be implemented to improve the quality of images detected by image sensors to improve the quality of the detected images. In some implementations, the described techniques and systems can be used to enable CMOS sensors to be used in place of relatively expensive CCD sensors, such as to achieve comparable quality from a CMOS sensor as from a CCD sensor.
Continuation Patents Published Today
In addition to the seven patent applications presented in today's report, the US Patent and Trademark Office did publish a series of five older continuation patents dating back to between 2008 and 2009. The continuation patents that we list below are specifically referenced as such under the section titled "Cross-Reference to Related Applications." Generally speaking, continuation patents represent tweaks made to patent claims in an effort to get the patents granted by the USPTO and don't represent any noteworthy new development from the original patent filing. Here are today's continuation patents should you wish to review them:
20120318653: This is a Continuation of an old 2008 Patent Application Titled "Hold Switch." This relates to the hold button found on an iPod.
20120321495: This is a Continuation of an old 2009 Patent Application Titled "Centrifugal Blower with asymmetrical blade spacing." Apple's patent application relates to the centrifugal fan or blower that's part of a cooling system in Mac computers. Two other continuation patents by the same name include numbers 20120321494 and 20120321493
20120322465: This is a Continuation of an old 2009 Patent Application titled "Location-based Network Detection."
NOTICE: Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Notice to Patently Apple Facebook Fans
Due to constructive feedback from our many Facebook fans, we've now added the handy "Subscribe" button to our Facebook page as of December 10, 2012.