On April 9, 2015, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple relating to an OS X desktop filtering system that could allow a user to transform their desktop to a 3D GUI. Apple has resurrected this 2007 patent and breathed new life into it by cancelling all original 53 patent claims and replaced them with 30 new ones. Apple considers this a new patent application and not a continuation patent which reflects a new interest in this invention in some capacity.
Apple's Patent Background
A graphical user interface allows a large number of graphical objects or items to be displayed on a display screen at the same time. Leading personal computer operating systems, such as Apple Mac OS, provide user interfaces in which a number of visualizations of system objects, such as windows, system functions, alerts, visualization objects representative of files, peripherals, applications, and other representations of system objects can be displayed according to the needs of the user. Taskbars, menus, virtual buttons, a mouse, a keyboard, and other user interface elements provide mechanisms for accessing and/or activating the system objects corresponding to the displayed representations.
The graphical representations of system objects and access to the corresponding system objects and related functions should be presented in a manner that facilitates an intuitive user experience with the graphical user interface. The use of a large number of graphical representations simultaneously on a graphical user interface, however, can detract from an intuitive user experience where the graphical user interface becomes cluttered with too many graphical representations.
Apple Invents a Desktop Filter and 3D Desktop
Apple's invention relates to a method and system. In an implementation, the method includes providing a desktop, where the desktop is operable to display one or more system objects and modifying the display of at least some of the one or more system objects on the desktop using a filter.
One or more of the following features may also be included. The system objects can include one or more desktop items, one or more stack items, and/or one or more file elements. Modifying the display of at least some of the one or more system objects using a filter can include modifying the location of at least some of the one or more system objects on the desktop, removing at least some of the one or more system objects from the desktop, grouping at least some of the one or more system objects together on the desktop, and/or stacking at least some of the one or more system objects together on the desktop.
Additionally, the desktop can include a three-dimensional desktop defining a depth aspect, which may include a viewing surface, a back surface disposed at a terminus of the depth aspect, and a floor surface extending from the back surface to the viewing surface.
Modifying the display of at least some of the one or more system objects using a filter can include repositioning at least some of the one or more system objects on the three-dimensional desktop, moving the at least some of the one or more system objects from a first viewing surface, back surface, or floor surface to a second viewing surface, back surface, or floor surface.
According to another feature, the filter can include a panel operable to receive instructions for modifying the display of the at least some of the one or more system objects on the desktop. The instructions may modify the display of the at least some of the one or more system objects based on a system object type, a system object location, or a date associated with a system object, such as a date the object was created, a date the object was modified, a date the object was viewed, or a date the object was deleted. Additionally, the panel can display the at least some of the one or more system objects, and/or one or more user-selectable rules.
Apple's patent FIG. 12 noted below is a block diagram of another example desktop environment including a desktop filter; FIG. 13 is a block diagram of an example multidimensional desktop environment including a desktop filter; FIG. 15 is a flow diagram of an example process for modifying the display of one or more system objects on a desktop using a filter.
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Apple credits Imran Chaudhri, Christopher Hynes, Eric Peyton, John Louch and Timothy Bumgarner as the inventors of patent application 20150100904 which was filed in Q4 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Other Apple Patent Reports Relating to a 3D User Interface
One: Apple Wins a Foundational 3D Interface Patent
Two: Apple Preparing OS X for New High End 3D Interface
Three: Apple Reveals New Multi-Dimensional GUI
Four: Apple is paving the Way for a new 3D GUI for iOS Devices
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