On December 20, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of eight original patent applications from Apple. In our first report this morning, we focused on a single invention relating to enhanced haptics for future keyboards and more. In our second and final patent report of the day we present you with a brief roundup of the other original patents that were published today covering Passbook, Accessibility, duplex audio and much more.
This week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of patent applications from Apple revealing how Siri works with various forms of smart lists. Siri is the name of Apple's intelligent personal assistant service that they introduced with their iPhone 4S in November 2011. Siri helps a user get things done just by asking. It allows the user to use their voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Apple's four Siri related patents specifically cover performing actions, generating task items, organizing tasks and triggering notifications. Noteworthy is the fact that Apple once again clarifies that this voice-centric service that we know of as Siri will eventually be coming to the Mac. This is something that Apple had previously set in stone in a patent filing that we covered in a report back in September titled "Apple Patents Point to Siri Controlling iTunes on an iMac & more."
Today a user is able to assign a custom ringtone to a list of various contacts found in their address book. In fact, custom ringtones can apply to SMS/MMS messages, email and calendar events to audibly inform the user of an underlying notification or alert. Today, a new patent application from Apple published by the US Patent Office reveals that Apple is working on advancing the notification system so that users will be able to assign custom vibration patterns to various notification events such as incoming calls, emails and so forth by using a new user interface associated with custom haptics. Uniquely, users will also be able to purchase custom vibration patterns from developers and/or web services at Apple's App Store. In the future, you're likely to see services like Twitter, Facebook and your favorite news sites delivering unique iDevice vibration patterns to alert you of new updates and/or breaking news reports. In-part, the new feature was made available with iOS 6.
On November 22, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new customer service application specifically designed for iDevices. The project was spearheaded by Benjamin Vigier Product Manager - Mobile Commerce at Apple. Mr. Vigier who came to Apple in 2010 has valuable NFC experience having worked with French mobile operator Bouygues Telecom, an early backer of NFC. Today's revelations show us that for those fortunate enough to live in a city where there's an Apple Store, the newly designed customer service form will help to check users in to see a Genius Bar representative or a workshop/event in a more convenient way. The form will activate automatically on iDevices as they near an Apple Store and provide customers with queue times and other reservation information. Apple's online and in-store service is the very best in the industry today hands down. It now it appears that it's about to get even better.
Looking beyond OS X Mountain Lion, Apple introduces us to their vision of a future 3D Multi-Level Dock that could take on the appearance of glass shelving or a bookshelf like iBooks. The multi-level dock will allow users to easily customize, search and/or label levels so as to better organize and quickly access their files, photos and applications. It sounds like it could be a great organizational advancement for a future desktop.
When we first posted our major patent report back in April 2010 titled "Apple Introduces us to a new iTunes 'Concert Ticket +' System," it made major headlines everywhere in the blogosphere. Our extensive report covered Apple's foundational patent in the field of tickets covering everything from concerts to transit to coupons, airlines and much more. This was the foundation for Apple's new iOS 6 Passbook app that was released with Apple's sexy iPhone 5. Today, the US Patent Office revealed that Apple has been tweaking their ticket centric patent and we provide you with the patent link that will allow you to explore it in depth as you see fit.
On October 18, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two key patent applications from Apple worth noting. The first is one of the original patent applications for Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, that debuted on the iPhone 4S last year. The second patent covers Apple's AirPlay Mirroring technology that allows content on an iDevice to be wirelessly transferred to a much larger display such as your Home or business HDTV or beyond.
On October 11, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two patent applications from Apple that reveal their ongoing work related to handwriting on iDevices such as the iPad and iPhone. One filing covers new active writing regions for applications such as Notes while the other filing deals with new writing techniques for signatures. The latter is a needed feature in an enterprise environment or other working environments such as delivery services which require a signature to confirm receipt of goods.
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.
On October 4, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new iDevice project that relates to advancing print settings. Apple's invention introduces new iDevice motions to define print settings quick and easy. Apple also reveals a new side menu for printing options that could be quite useful in quickly identifying which pages to print and which types of paper stocks to print your content on. As Apple's iDevices continue to move into the enterprise and deeper into the offices of the Fortune 500, advancing print options on iDevices is exactly what the doctor ordered.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nineteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we primarily cover Apple's patent wins for a Multi-Touch surface controller and a surprisingly fast win for a Spiral-like user interface replacement for today's current Cover Flow in iTunes. Other patents that we briefly look at include Apple's Mighty Mouse and a docking station that never made it to market.
On August 16, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of video related patent applications from Apple mainly covering iMovie and Final Cut Pro. If you're a video buff, then today is going to be a feast for you. The patent applications cover topics such as live dragging and editing, new novel editing and masking tools and so much more. There's far too much information for us to properly cover in this report and so we've provided you with Apple's patent abstract for each application along with a direct link to each of them so that you could explore them at will. One thing is for sure, Apple's Randy Ubillos and his engineer teams have definitely been burning the midnight oil so as to keep Apple's video applications on the cutting edge.
In June, Macworld reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed in an email to an Apple customer that the company is working on "something really great" to address the professional market. Earlier this week we posted a report on Apple's surprising patent win for a radical radial menus patent that illustrated the new system would apply to the iMac, Mac Pro and yes, the iPad. Today, the U.S. Patent Office published a jaw dropping Apple patent that reveals that they're working on a new advanced graphics app to take on Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator. The new app will also be aimed at Macs and the iPad. The system is being designed to work with both the mouse and touchscreen gestures. Apple's two detailed patent applications cover the basics of the graphics app and their new simplified object layering system. It's clear that Tim Cook's email message about something really great is on the way for the professional market is starting to really take shape indeed.
Last week Apple filed a detailed patent application relating to a new iPhone audio-sharing network concept. While the filing touches on hearing aid technology, it is by no means limited to that narrow definition. Another application applies to teleconferencing, for example. In fact, one of the benefits of this technology relates to a "conference telephone." The technology is designed to cut out background murmurs and general noise while executives discuss business with distant colleagues and/or potential clients. At the end of the day, the patent relates to both students and the enterprise. Yes, the Devil is in the details.
On July 26, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an exciting new annotation application that's in the works. If you consider that ten extremely detailed applications were published on this one project alone today, I'd have to say that it's likely a priority project. The applications cover new navigation and annotation modes that will assist readers working with electronic documents, digital books, newspapers and magazines. While it would take days to comb through these applications to list all of the coming features, our report focuses on just a few of them including a new annotation toolbar. At the end of the day, it was quite the surprise to find these patent gems and for students and professionals who need to use annotation tools, this is going to be a huge leap forward for the iPad. It's the kind of tool that will help the iPad push further into the enterprise and beyond.