On January 24, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a possible next chapter for Apple's iDevice cameras. In 2011 we posted a controversial patent report titled "Apple working on a Sophisticated Infrared System for iOS Cameras." The report covered how future iDevices could be used as an auto tour guide in a museum and how infrared technology would be able to shut off a future iDevice camera at live events. Today's patent is in that same vein as it focuses on how future iDevice cameras will be able to identify objects such as a painting at a museum or a car at an auto show and provide users with detailed information about these items that could be saved for future reference in multimedia album for later review. Both of Apple's patent applications covering this subject matter would indicate that this is serious camera-related project at Apple.
As the year winds down, there were only a handful of original patent applications from Apple that were published today by the US Patent Office. The only consumer oriented inventions that were noteworthy related to iDevice cameras and photo management. On Apple's website describing the new iPhone 5's camera they point to improved HDR Capabilities for better color, tone and reduced motion blur. One of today's patent filings cover advanced HDR capabilities using a new image sensor. Another one covered a testing and calibrating camera modules. Yet the one new camera related invention that stood out from the pack was one relating to a new application that Apple may be included in a future iDevice camera. It'll involve a unique combination of a pre-installed camera database and new recognition software that will be able to automatically recognized famous people's faces and famous objects such as a painting or perhaps things like a famous bridge or other landmarks. While it won't be a killer application on its own by any stretch of the imagination, it will definitely enhance Apple's camera features in future iDevices. And for those who just happen to live in California or any other famous locale, then it may assist the novice paparazzi in figuring out who was who in the photo they just took at a club, concert or movie set. Hmm, I can hear the ad for that now: Want to be a paparazzi? There's an app for that.
On December 6, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published well over seventy-five patent applications from Apple. The vast majority of these filings were about boring everyday necessities to keep products humming along like video codecs, security sandboxing, backup and restore functionality, Flash Memory techniques and stuff to keep the iPhone advancing, such as integrating Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (ODFM) technologies, and more. Yet within this mountain of new patent filings we were able to find a number interesting advancements to standing projects worth noting. In this particular report we specifically focus on three areas of technology. The first relates to ejectable component modules for e-commerce, the second relates to iDevice thermal management technologies and the third relates to all things photography.
Five extremely detailed patent applications pertaining to the iPhone 5's new camera App called "Panorama" have been published by the US Patent Office today. Technically speaking, panoramic photography may be defined generally as a photographic technique for capturing images with elongated fields of view. An image showing a field of view approximating 160 degrees wide by 75 degrees high may be termed "panoramic." Additionally, panoramic images generally have an aspect ratio of 2:1 or larger, meaning that the image being at least twice as wide as it is high. Technicalities aside, Panorama is one of the coolest iPhone apps to date and if you love taking pictures, then you're going to love the ability to take shots like you've never been able to do before. Taking photos at concerts, of the Rocky Mountains, of a downtown street festival or just a large group of graduating friends is going to take on a complete new dimension that was unavailable on an iPhone, until now. Today, you'll be able to explore Apple's five new patent applications that reveal how they've designed this app.
In Apple's R&D Playbook this week we learned that Apple is working on a more sophisticated unlocking screen mechanism and e-Commerce security feature using biometrics. We also learned about new writing techniques for signatures and taking notes on iDevices and even about a cool fabric carrying case for an iPhone. To close out this week's discoveries, we see that Apple revealed another of their new LTE related patents specifically relating to managing connections between an iPhone and a plurality of wireless networks such as 3GPP LTE and 3GPP2 CDMA 2000. The remaining Apple goodies that were published by the US Patent and Trademark Office today could only be loved by the super geeks and engineers amongst us. But if you like this kind of stuff, then we provide you with all of the necessary links to get you to geek heaven.
On Tuesday Apple was granted a patent for a two-step unlock screen feature that has yet to be implemented. Today, Apple introduces us to an all-new unlock screen feature that utilizes higher integrated security features via biometrics that could also be used in e-Commerce transactions. In late September we reported on Intel's big push into building biometrics into future Wintel devices – and so it comes as no surprise that we now find that Apple has been refining next wave e-Commerce security features using highly sophisticated biometrics. To accelerate their biometric projects Apple recently acquired AuthenTec in July. The race is definitely on to get consumers ready for the next wave of e-Commerce transactions and to ensure that they're processed securely.
Last week Apple filled a series of seven major patent filings directly related to advancing camera features that will be found in future iterations of Apple's iDevices such as the iPhone and iPad. The new patent applications cover gesture techniques and in-depth detailing of their advanced red-eye technology. Real camera buffs will have a feast in learning about what Apple is working on and we list all of the patent links so that you could dive right in to learn about every little twist and turn. If anything – we know that Apple always updates the iPhone's camera features each and every year like clockwork. Will any of Apple's latest advancements make it to the iPhone 6? Only time will tell. And lastly, we take a brief look at a simple legal update to Apple's original patent filing for Siri that doesn't advance Siri in any way whatsoever.
Some weeks there just isn't a wining patent declared by a rocking TKO. This week is such a case but that doesn't mean that that there weren't a series of solid inventions, because there were. A series of patent applications came to light today relating to improvements in the works for iDevice haptics, Apple's iSight camera, flash memory and accessibility for the hearing impaired. More times than not it's the simple utility patents like these that end up being implemented by Apple.
On June 28, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published patent applications from Apple covering GarageBand, multiple camera sensors for iDevices, new optical display coatings and more. The US Patent Office has yet to publish the patent graphics for the patents we cover today. When they do, we'll update our report accordingly. Apple's dearth of patent applications now runs five straight weeks. Where oh where are Apple's talented engineers of late? This is the longest running patent drought since Patently Apple has covered Apple's patents.
On June 14, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of their research projects involving a camera device that provides the user with configurable optic options. The unique aspect to this is the device's removable back panel. Although Apple's patent background mentions a mobile phone, their actual summary and patent detailing mention nothing of a phone in any traditional way. So the device could either represent a next generation iPod touch as a means of differentiating it from the iPhone or a standalone camera that Apple has been playing with since 2009. While Apple has toyed with the idea of adding various lenses to handhelds via an external accessory in the past, their concepts were never in-line with Apple's great design ethic. Today's design seems to properly address the need for better portable device optical options while retaining an Apple-like form factor. The only real question remaining is this: Is Apple designing this removable back panel design as part of a standalone camera or as part of the iPod touch's reinvention. Which do you think it'll be?
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-seven newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second report of the day we cover a wide array of design wins for Apple covering such things as Apple TV and a possible new icon. In addition, we cover two iOS related camera patents covering exposure and electro-mechanical shutter control.
On Thursday, US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed that future iDevices may in fact sport an advanced version of their current iOS feature known as "Tap to Focus." According to the patent application, Apple could add an additional dedicated processor to their architecture supporting the newly advanced multi-point gesturing. The feature will add other new functionality such expanding a given area of a photo for added emphasis. For the camera buffs amongst us, I think this may be a very cool feature in a future iPhone model.
On May 03, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published 14 patent applications from Apple. We first reported on a wild new haptics system from Apple this morning and in our final patent report of the day we briefly cover most of the remaining applications. Our report covers a lot of ground including a new battery design, a new camera feature and tweaks to both the Mac Mini and high speed cable connectors. Could the tweaks to the high speed connectors have anything to do with the rumored round dock connector slated for the next iPhone? Only time will tell.
Apple's iOS cameras will be eventually gaining very powerful pattern detection technologies. Although the iOS camera system will gain OCR and bar code scanning capabilities, Apple's future system will go far beyond that. The advanced camera system will be able to read IBSN numbers, pricing symbols, phone numbers and much more – all in context. For instance, you'll be able to scan a poster of a movie as noted in our cover graphic. From that you'll be able to scan faces and be given contextual menu options pertaining to that face or scan a phone number and be given the option to put it into your contact information or touch the photo of the movie image and call up a movie trailer or access to show times and other relevant information. You'll be able to scan a URL off of a magazine and then touch the URL on the image on your iPad and be given the option to activate the URL. Is that wild? This is really powerful technology that Apple will be building into next generation iOS devices that will greatly benefit consumers and professionals alike.