The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 35 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we first cover Apple's granted patent which discusses how acoustic transducers could one day be configured to accept acoustic commands that consist of tapping, scratching and other interactions with a surface of an iPad, iPhone or MacBook Pro. Our report concludes with a list of the remaining patents that were granted to Apple today.
Apple Granted Patent: Electronic Devices used as Acoustic Input Devices
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to acoustic sensors and, more particularly, to implementing acoustic sensors that use a surface of an electronic device housing as an input. Patently Apple first covered Apple's original patent application back in February 2011 which also provided a video to illustrate the work being done on this budding technology.
Interesting Examples for Acoustic Commands
The following are a few interesting examples relating to acoustic commands to help you visualize its value:
Simply dragging a finger in an upwards direction across the back of the housing may increase the volume of output by a speaker, or of headphones coupled to a notebook or iOS device.
In another embodiment, dragging a finger across a device's surface may drag and drop content, such as icons, displayed on the device.
In yet another embodiment, movement in a particular pattern across the housing of the device may lock and/or unlock it; Once again hinting at dropping the Home Button on iOS devices. For example, dragging a finger to "draw" a circle in a clockwise pattern may unlock the device. Additionally, taps and or other interactions with the housing or surface may be interpreted to actuate or turn off devices located near where the user interacted with the surface. For example, if a tap is detected on the housing near Apple's iSight camera, the camera may be turned on or off.
A variety of other input may be defined in the vocabulary to describe a particular input and provide a specific output or response. For example, tapping the speakers may mute or unmute any audio being played. In another example, tapping the speakers once may toggle play and pause, tapping the speakers twice may skip to the next track and tapping the speakers three times may skip to the previous track. In still yet another example, making a circular gesture on the surface may adjust the audio volume (i.e., clockwise gesture for increasing volume and counterclockwise gesture to decrease volume.) Further, in yet another example, tapping the display housing may wake up the display (or the entire device) from a sleep state. It should be understood that many other acoustic inputs may be defined by the vocabulary in addition to or instead of the foregoing examples.
Apple credits Aleksandar Prance, Nicholas King, Duncan Kerr and Brett Bilbrey as the inventors of this granted patent which was originally filed in Q3 2009 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's 17 granted patent claims and details, see US Number 8,441,790.
The Remaining Patents that were granted to Apple Today
(Click on the Graphic to Enlarge it for Easy Viewing)
A Note for Tech Sites Covering our Report: We ask tech sites covering our report to kindly limit the use of our graphics to one image. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
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.