In a May 2009 Apple Discussions Forum titled "Speech to Text Yet?" – a user asked this question: I simply want to enter ISBN numbers from books into a word processing window by speaking them. Is there anything available yet for Macintosh that allows me to do this simple task? Well, it appears that Apple has something in the works on that very front, indeed. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application of Apple's which generally relates to deriving text data from speech data. Some software solutions today enable the user to enter text data using speech. These software solutions convert the speech to text using speech recognition engines. However, these software solutions can be difficult to use when entering symbolic characters, style or typeface input because they typically require escape sequences to exit a speech input mode and then additional input to return to speech input mode. Apple's solution involves utilizing both a speech recognition module and a text composition module using an iPhone.
On August 27, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iPhone Feature sets. While today's patent presents us with some background basics of some of the new features available on the iPhone 3G-S, such as tethering and camera functionality, the one tool that stood out for me was one that busy sales execs may appreciate very much. I'm sure that Apple will have a better marketing name for this tool when they launch it, but for now the patent simply refers to this as "Transitional Data Sets." What it boils down to is that a busy sales exec that is always on the go covering national or international sales will be able to organize specific information about each city they cover under a single data button. The iPhone will know which city it's in via GPS and other means, and so when the exec opens up their iPhone, the handy local-icon that they had pre-set will pop up automatically providing them with their local contacts, favorite restaurants, weather and maps. Now that's very cool.
On August 27, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application of Apple's which generally relates to multi-touch gestures in general, and more specifically to simulating multi-touch gestures utilizing a personal computer or workstation mouse. In light of the upcoming Microsoft Zune HD with touch capabilities matched up with personal computers with touch capabilities, such as the HP TouchSmart, today's patent seems a little behind the curve. This particular patent is primarily aimed at iPhone and iPod touch developers needing to develop touch software on a personal computer that doesn't have a touch screen - like today's iMac. Apple proposes providing developers with emulation software that would simulate iPhone or iPod touch gestures using their mouse. If anything, the patent would explain why Apple brought advanced gesturing to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air and even suggest that these trackpads will get more sophisticated over time to support Apple's simulated-iPhone developer software.
On August 25, 2009, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of seven newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include one pertaining to Apple's iTunes in relation to Cover Flow in iTunes for computers and portables; another relating to Apple's Safari feature known as SnapBack, and other minor patents covering such topics as Apple's Power Adapter and Universal Dock.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of six newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include one related to Apple's video conferencing system known as iChat along with a group of three design wins covering the iPod Classic, third generation iPod nano and Apple's wireless keyboard as shown below. Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ives are amongst those listed as the design team responsible for today's granted design patents.
On August 13, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's patent application titled Embedded die system and method. In this patent, Apple states that "miniaturization may be described as a continuing trend in technology toward ever-smaller scales for devices. Miniaturization may include reducing the size of a specific device. For example, transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, and diodes may be reduced in size, while retaining the same operational characteristics. One of the prime examples of miniaturization in this patent includes that of a phone, which would support the notion of the nano phone. Other interesting devices listed included that of a watch and portable television. This particular patent primarily focuses on a die integral to a substrate via a cavity or aperture in the substrate.
On August 13, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application of Apple's that reveals a new iPod and iPhone feature being devised. The feature focuses on compensating for motion on displays and touch screens when using your iPod or iPhone on the subway or in a car. It could also be used in high vibration environments such as a tank monitoring and control system for a chemical processing plant or a personal entertainment system located with an airline seat back.