On December 19, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two mildly interesting patent applications from Apple. The first covers a likely future upgrade to iOS Maps involving a quick and easy interactive menu to find maps of interest be they for transit, tourists or shopping. The second patent filing relates to a heads-up scrolling methodology that will allow users to easily scroll through multiple data records in a database.
On December 05, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new smart dock with voice recognition and activation. The voice recognition system is illustrated in a device such as an alarm clock though technically it could be an Apple TV or other future device. The user will be able to place a phone call, play a tune, send a message or create a calendar entry by just speaking it aloud and the docked iDevice will respond due to its "listening mode." In other words, Siri may be coming to a future iDevice dock.
On October 24, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their intent to advance digital gifting on iTunes. The new system will provide gift givers with multiple new ways of personalizing their gifts by using video messaging and the ability to send their gifts through various social media sites.
On September 26, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new iBook autographing system and more specifically to techniques and systems for embedding autographs in electronic books.Book signing is the affixing of a signature to the title page or flyleaf of a book by its author. A book signing is an event, usually at a bookstore or library where an author sits and signs books for a period. Book signing is popular because an author's signature increases the value of books for collectors. The author may add a short message to the reader, called a dedication, to each book, which may be personalized with the recipient's name upon request. Book signings provide more than a just a chance to obtain signatures. Authors and bookstores are benefited by the fact that many copies of the book being promoted are sold. Signings also increase public goodwill and allow authors to connect with their fans. For fans, signings give them a chance to see and meet a favorite author and ask them questions. In order for this process to have value in the digital world, Apple has invented this new advanced autographing system.
A new European Filing by Apple published yesterday reveals an update to the iOS "Notes" app. Not being overly familiar with the Notes application makes it difficult to assess the full extent of the upgrades that could be coming to Notes in the future. However, one option appears to illustrate a text-to-text conversion option which would be great for translations. For those wanting to further investigate the finer points of this patent could do so here. One of the current features of the "Notes" app is a "Speak" menu option which isn't a "standard" feature on Notes. Average iDevice owners would never know that this option even exists. Intuitive it isn't. Our report walks you through the steps that will turn on this feature if you'd like that option available to you in the future, whether you're disabled or not.
On September 5, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a change in Apple's Spiral Interface Invention that is to replace Cover Flow. We first reported on Apple's Spiral Interface for iTunes back in September 2010 and by December of that year Apple provided us with more detail. In that report we illustrated a working model of that design that was invented by a French Company under the Memory-Life brand. Then in October 2012, Apple was granted a patent for this spiral design. Apple's last patent application on this project was published in June 2013 where Apple reduced their patents claims from 36 down to 1. Today, Apple further refines their patent claims once again.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 41 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a major win for an advanced sensor-based user interface that could apply to a future iPhone, desktop display/monitor or even a television. The invention, if implemented, would enable a user to interact with a display at quite a distance. In a desktop application, as a user moves physically away from their desktop, the system will automatically switch from mouse controls to that of hand gesturing controls if the user so choses to do so. In theory, if applied to a TV scenario, the user would be able to use hand gesturing to control TV functionality without a remote. With new 3D depth cameras coming to market in late 2014, Apple may be able to further fine-tune such a unique system.
A patent application from Apple surfaced earlier this month in Europe revealing a new Korean patent filing. The patent was originally secretly filed in the US in 2011 under the names of the inventors without showing an assignee. In that way, a search for Apple's new patent filing in the US Patent Office's database would never reveal the original filing. The Korean filing covering the same invention now reveals that Apple is the assignee. Whether the secrecy is warranted or not is another matter. Apple's invention reveals an Aperture and/or iPhoto user interface designed for the iPad that uses a new method for editing photo brightness, color saturation, contrast and more. The new UI will offer users a sophisticated pop-up menu and sub-menu system.
On August 29, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new and elaborate collaboration system for videoconferencing that could be useful for the enterprise or for future distant leaning applications. The system introduces new interactive pie menus that will work with a sophisticated pen that will include memory and other advanced functions. Apple notes that as the pen advances toward the menu presented on a large presentation screen, an opening will automatically be created in the menu so that no content is covered by the presenter's hand or arm. Additionally, Apple notes that the new menu system will work with custom applications designed for this system yet also work with traditional software such as Photoshop, PowerPoint, and other common applications. Apple must think this is an important invention considering that this is a follow-up application to their already granted patent issued back in March.
On August 22, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of 20 original patent applications from Apple today excluding 12 continuation patents. In this report we cover four mildly interesting inventions. The first details Apple's lightning connector exhaustively. The second covers automating Apple's iPhone status sharing feature so users won't have to set it up in the future. A third patent covers a new injection molding system for creating parts for Apple iDevices faster and cost effectively. And lastly we link you to a new patent application covering technology relating to the next iPhone cellular standard that's in the works called LTE-Advanced.
On August 15, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of 14 original patent applications from Apple. In this particular report we cover two distinct inventions. The first invention covers a new camera design specifically created for ever thinner iDevices and Macs. Apple could be first to market with a consumer camera using super advanced GRIN technology. The second invention is a new accessibility app that is tailored for Japanese and Chinese users. Considering that Apple's iPhone is the bestselling smartphone in Japan and is about to attack the Chinese market more aggressively with a new mid-level iPhone, it's only right that they begin to introduce more specialized software for these markets going forward.
On August 15, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new and easier way of sharing content objects such as a photo, highlighted text or an embedded video between documents, emails, tweets and more. It will also allow the user to send content to a blog or other social media easily. One of the more interesting aspects of this invention is that Apple will be adding new toolbars to assist users in editing their content before sharing it.
On August 8, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a very interesting future application that involves the building of audible or inaudible audio hyperlinks into an app that could be played back on podcasts, TV shows or as an in-store sale carried over in-store speakers. It could be a message sent directly to your iPhone by a band at a concert notifying you that there's a special deal on music or promotional items because you attended their concert. The inaudible hyperlink is triggered at some point in an audible or inaudible message that's broadcasted. It's easy to see that there's a lot of potential for this type of future application.
On August 8, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new tabbed browser design and methodology, the second in the last three weeks. Apple introduces us to tabbed browsing in "array mode" and a new tab pile metaphor.
On August 1, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new advances that could be coming to Apple's new "iOS in the Car" software in the future. In June we presented an in-depth report titled "Apple Takes the Lead in the Next Battlefront: Advanced Eyes-Free Services for the Car. Today we learn that Apple has deeper integration plans to take "iOS for the Car" to another level. Apple's latest invention generally relates to in-vehicle self-configurable environments and more specifically to techniques and systems for storing configuration details in an iDevice like the iPhone. The new system will allow a future iPhone user to control their in-vehicle settings for power seats, mirrors, climate control, radio and more. Once set, the iPhone will be able to control settings even for a rented car. Apple envisions this software to eventually apply to a user's home environment and beyond.