The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 56 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's granted patents for their magic mouse and one relating to a method of turning off an iDevice while a driver is in the driver seat and in motion. This invention was way ahead of its time and yet it's possible that it'll make its way into a future version of Apple's new CarPlay. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Apple Granted Patent for Driver iDevice Lock-Out
Apple's Granted Patent Background: Texting while driving has become a major concern of parents, law enforcement, and the general public. An April 2006 study found that 80 percent of auto accidents are caused by distractions such as applying makeup, eating, and text messaging on handheld computing devices (texting). According to the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and Students against Destruction Decisions, teens report that texting is their number one distraction while driving. Teens understand that texting while driving is dangerous, but this is often not enough motivation to end the practice.
New laws are being written to make texting illegal while driving. However, law enforcement officials report that their ability to catch offenders is limited because the texting device can be used out of sight (e.g., on the driver's lap), thus making texting while driving even more dangerous. Texting while driving has become so widespread it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the practice.
Apple's Proposed Solution: Apple's invention relates to lock-out mechanisms for driver iDevices. The lock-out mechanisms disable the ability of an iDevice to perform certain functions, such as texting, while one is driving.
In one embodiment, an iDevice will be able to provide a lock-out mechanism without requiring any modifications or additions to a vehicle. In this embodiment, the handheld computing device can comprise a motion analyzer, a scenery analyzer and a lock-out mechanism.
The motion analyzer can detect whether the handheld computing device is in motion beyond a predetermined threshold level. The scenery analyzer can determine whether a holder of handheld computing device is located within a safe operating area of a vehicle. And the lock-out mechanism can disable one or more functions of the handheld computing device based on output of the motion analyzer, and enable the one or more functions based on output of the scenery analyzer.
In other embodiments, the iDevice can provide a lock-out mechanism with modifications or additions to the vehicle. In one embodiment, a vehicle and an iDevice can provide a lock-out mechanism in which the vehicle, through transmission of a signal, can cause disabled functionality of the handheld computing device to be enabled.
In another embodiment, a vehicle can unilaterally provide a lock-out mechanism by transmitting blocking signals to an unsafe operating area of the vehicle. In a further embodiment, a vehicle key and an iDevice can provide a lock-out mechanism in which the key transmits a signal when engaged with the vehicle.
In yet another embodiment, a vehicle and a handheld computing device can provide a lock-out mechanism in which the vehicle transmits a signal notifying the iDevice to disable functionality.
This technology could be a good candidate for a future version of CarPlay.
Interestingly, the sole inventor of this granted patent is John Elias who's famous for his work on all-things Multitouch for iDevices. Apple originally filed this patent back in Q4 2008 before CarPlay was even a thought at Apple. To review today's granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent.
Apple Granted a Patent for their Magic Mouse
Apple has been granted a patent today for their Magic Mouse which Apple further describes as an ambidextrous mouse.
Apple credits Steve Hotelling and Brian Huppi as the inventors of granted patents 8,704,769 and 8,704,770 which were originally filed in Q3 2008 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review one of today's granted patents with 25 claims, see Apple's patent.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
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. We thank 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 Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 4am to 8pm MST and sporadically on the weekend.