On April 25, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a round of eleven original patent applications from Apple today excluding 15 continuation patent filings. In this report we cover two patent applications relating to Apple's "Maps" App, a new buckling shock mounting system to better resist mechanical shock and a list of five others covering matters such as data transfers using the Low Energy Bluetooth standard and battery technologies.
On April 25, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that generally relates to future iPhones being able to locate your vehicle in a multi-tiered parking lot. In fact, Apple states that a "parking location" can be any place where a vehicle can be parked, stored, or docked. For example, in the case of a boat, a parking location can refer to a berth in a marina; in the case of an aircraft, a parking location can refer to a location at a municipal airport (e.g., outdoors or in a hangar). The vehicle can go beyond a car and it could be useful in trying to find a bike that you've parked. This new parking system application is likely a sub-system of a broader application. Part one of Apple's future automotive-application was covered in our first patent report of the day titled "Apple Reveals Advanced Automotive Access & Control System." It's pretty clear that Apple's acquisition of WifiSLAM will definitely play a role in the development of this application.
On April 25, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new automotive access and control system that will primarily be found in future iPhones. Last June we posted a report that revealed Apple's in-vehicle initiative with nine major auto companies to integrate Siri into popular vehicles regarding "Hands Free Navigation." Today we learn that Apple's work may be going far beyond just integrating Siri and that's major news. Apple's patent filing reveals that future iPhones will be able to open your car door, start your engine, shut off your engine for specific time frames, be able to program complete personalized car settings and much, much more. The depth of these integrated services can't be done in a vacuum, which clearly indicates that the collaboration between Apple and a number auto companies has been quite elaborate.
On April 18, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the nuts and bolts behind Apple's Virtual University known as iTunes U. Apple's invention is about systems, methods, and computer program products for accessing e-learning courses from an online resource. Particular implementations of the e-learning application disclosed, provide one or more of the following advantages: The e-learning application provides simple and intuitive GUIs that allow students to browse, select, enroll and interact with online courses, including facilitating data input by the student, giving the student better manual control to navigate the course and providing the student with better visual feedback for interacting with the course.
On April 9, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a new granted patent from Apple that reveals a new feature that has yet to come to market. As such, Patently Apple will present this granted patent in the form a new patent application report that goes deeper into the technology presented. Apple has been razzed for a while now for not having a technology for the iPhone that is similar to Samsung's Beam that lets users share large files from one smartphone to another using NFC. Apple's newly granted patent provides such an interactions and so much more. Apple's solution works between a Mac and iPhone and provides editing software to crop, scale and adjust images. Apple had the technology mapped out in January 2010, or about 30 months prior to Samsung's public release of this feature for the Galaxy SIII.
Back in late March Apple acquired indoor-GPS Company called WifiSLAM signaling that Apple could be entering the indoor mobile location services business sometime in the future. WifiSLAM's software allows a user's smartphone to pinpoint its location (and the location of friends) in real-time to 2.5m accuracy using only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings. Today, a key patent application from Apple titled "3D Position Tracking for Panoramic Imagery Navigation" was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. On one hand, the patent is about bringing detailed street-views to Apple's Map application. On the other hand, we get a smidgen of understanding as to why Apple acquired WifiSLAM. Apple's patent filing is very stingy in providing us with details about the second half of their invention. Apple states that "In some implementations, forward and backward translation enables the user to enter an indoor panorama of a structure (e.g., a commercial venue), " like a store for making a purchase. Although Apple has recently taken a bruising over their Map application's turn-by-turn navigation inaccuracies, it's crystal clear that they're charging ahead with determination to bring newly advanced services to Maps in the future.
On April 4, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new quick access feature allowing users to access a specific set of applications without having to enter an unlock security code on their future iDevices. In some cases the new user interface provides an animated feature that will roll the Unlock slider feature out of the way so as to reveal one or more rows of quick access apps. The invention also reveals that Apple is likely to adopt a new virtual home button that will extend the user interface right to the bottom of the iDevice. All in all, this is another cool feature that we could likely expect to see in future iDevices.
On March 28, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new graphical user interfaces related to facilitating interactions with contacts. The newly proposed "contacts" GUI is designed for Macs, iDevices and a possible future TV. With the new contacts user interface, a user will be able to transfer a file to a contact by simply dragging and dropping a file icon onto a visual representation for a recipient contact. The communication mode for the transfer can be determined manually by the user or automatically based on the contact's current online status.
On February 21, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they're working on extending tools for users reading an iBook, iMagazine, document, electronic newspapers and likely the web. The tools go beyond the traditional use of "copy" and "paste." Apple wants readers to be able to easily and quickly highlight text, share an article, make notes or access search all from a new customizable floating tool bar. Apple also illustrates that they're likely to add a new "card" element users could call up so as to better keep track of formal notes or to have them handy during a presentation. Our report covers a ton of graphics illustrating the new floating tool bar options to help you visualize what Apple is thinking of introducing in a future iOS upgrade. At present, Apple has implemented this specifically for iBooks and iBook Textbooks as shown in this example screenshot. Here's to hoping that Apple's tools will spill over for the rest of us who surf the web for news and research on a daily basis.
On January 3, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published patent applications from Apple relating to their push notifications system and new MagSafe 2 connector. The new MagSafe 2 connector was announced at Apple's June 2012 World Wide Developer Conference in conjunction with the debut of the MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Display. The new connector was designed to better fit the slimmer notebook designs. In late 2012, Samsung sued Apple over their push notifications system in Korea. It'll be interesting to see if Apple's notification system patent will get approved by the US Patent Office in time for this case – as Apple's system applies to both iOS and Mac hardware which could differentiate their system enough to strengthen their position.
On December 27, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a major patent application from Apple that reveals more of their total SIM solution that may have played a role in The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) choosing their design back in June.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 36 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's latest granted patent relating to their popular Nike + iPod application. The patent covers the application's user interface which records the distance and pace of a runner or power walker. The application uniquely works in conjunction with an iPod that is able to stay in sync with a specialized sensor worn in or on top of one the user's running shoes.
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.