On June 6, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new leg to their smart bike invention. The premise of Apple's invention is rather like Apple's Nike + iPod system for runners except for cyclists. While the system is for individuals, it's also designed to work with teams of cyclists so that they could communicate with each other on-the-fly about course difficulty or perceived problems. The Bicycle system monitors speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, wind speed, path completed, expected future path, heart rate, power, and pace. The system could utilize various sensors built-into the iPhone in addition to working with sensors already built-into the bike itself. Apple's patent is extraordinarily detailed and packed with interesting twists that the sporting cyclist will really appreciate. Interestingly, Apple only filed their patent update this past January.
Patently Apple was first to publish a report on Apple's smart bike system back in August 2010. The vast majority of Apple's current patent application mirrors their 2010 application which you could review in detail here.
What Apple is adding in their current application are some new or additional patent claims to protect their invention. Four of the new patent claims that stand out from their initial patent application read as follows:
Patent Claim #1: An electronic device, comprising: one or more sensors configured to detect an operational parameter of a bicycle; communications circuitry configured to communicatively couple the electronic device to a second electronic device according to authorization information, wherein the second electronic device is associated with a user of the bicycle; and control circuitry configured to: determine when the bicycle is in operation based at least in part on the detected operational parameter; identify whether the second electronic device is substantially within a communicative proximity of the electronic device when the bicycle is in operation; and generate an alert comprising an indication of an unauthorized operation of the bicycle when the second electronic device is not identified as substantially within the communicative proximity of the electronic device.
Patent Claim # 13: A method, comprising: detecting a motion of a bicycle via one or more sensors coupled to the bicycle; determining whether an external electronic device is substantially within a communicative proximity of the one or more sensors when the bicycle is in motion, wherein the external electronic device is configured to communicatively pair with the one or more sensors according to authorization information stored in association with the one or more sensors; determining whether the external electronic device is authorized based at least in part on the authorization information; and generating an alert comprising an indication of an unauthorized use of the bicycle when the external electronic device is determined to be beyond the communicative proximity of the one or more sensors or when the external electronic device is determined to be unauthorized.
Patent Claim # 19: A system, comprising: a vehicle; and an electronic device communicatively coupled to the vehicle, comprising: one or more sensors configured to detect an operational parameter of the vehicle; communications circuitry configured to communicatively couple the electronic device to a second electronic device according to authorization information stored to the electronic device, wherein the authorization information is configured to indicate whether the second electronic device is associated with a user of the vehicle; and control circuitry configured to: determine when the vehicle is in operation based at least in part on the detected operational parameter; identify whether the second electronic device is authorized based at least in part on the authorization information when the vehicle is in operation; and generate an alert comprising an indication of an unauthorized operation of the vehicle when the second electronic device is unauthorized.
Patent Claim # 21: The system of claim 19, wherein the control circuitry is configured to: generate the alert, wherein the alert comprises an indication of a possible theft of the vehicle, a current location of the vehicle, and a timestamp corresponding to the unauthorized operation of the vehicle; and transmit the alert via the communications circuitry to a third electronic device, wherein the third electronic device is configured to present the alert to an authorized user of the vehicle.
Apple credits Jesse Dorogusker, Anthony Fadell, Andrew Hodge, Allen Haughay, Jr., Scott Krueger, James Mason, Donald Novotney, Emily Schubert Policarpo Wood and Timothy Johnston as the inventors of patent application 20130144464 which was filed in Q1 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing to market of such an Apple product is unknown at this time.
A Word about Continuation Patents
It should be noted that the US Patent and Trademark Office did in fact publish a series of 18 older continuation patents today dating back to between 2005 and 2012. The continuation patents listed below are specifically referenced as such under the section titled "Cross-Reference to Related Applications." Generally speaking, this type of patent application contains modifications that Apple's legal team have made to the original patent claims in an effort to have the US Patent Office finally approve their invention.
In general continuation patents don't represent any new developments from the original patent filing. Some websites mistakenly report on continuation patents as if they were new Apple filings to which they are not. Here are the older continuation patents that were published today by the US Patent Office:
01. 2009 Patent 20130141612 Adjusting Time Metadata of Digital Media Items
02. 2010 Patent 20130141073 Charging Recycling a 1 of N NDL Gate with a Time Varying Power Supply
03. 2010 Patent 20130141035 Portable Electronic Device Power Manager
04. 2009 Patent 20130141861Systems and methods for providing a System-on-a-Substrate
05. 2010 Patent 20130141870 Internal frame optimizing for Stiffness & Heat Transfer
06. 2005 Patent 20130142031 Adaptive Time Diversity and Spatial Diversity for OFDM (Acquired from Canada's Nortel)
07. 2006 Patent 20130142109 Method and System for Wireless Multi-Hop Relay Network
08. 2009 Patent 20130142147 Push Notification Service
09.2011 Patent 20130142356 Near-Field Null and Beamforming
10. 2010 Patent 20130143537 Image Selections for an Incoming Call
11. 2007 Patent 20130143596 Synchronizing Mobile and Vehicle Devices
12. 2010 Patent 20130143623 Feeder Cable Reduction
13. 2010 Patent 20130144772 Journaling on Mobile Devices
14. 2002 Patent 20130145042: Proximity Detection for Media Proxies
15. 2010 Patent 20130145057 Communication between a host device and accessory using multiple-endpoint identification
16. 2007 Patent 20130145275 System Connections and User Interfaces
17. 2007 Patent 20130145310 Portable Electronic Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Displaying Electronic Lists and Documents
18. 2002 Patent 20130145325 Dynamically Changing Appearances for User Interface Elements during Drag-and-Drop Operations
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.
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