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September 2009

Apple Wins Stunning Patent for New iPod Video Headset Display

1 - Apple wins patent for iPod video Headset Display
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of ten newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the notables within this group which is by far the story of the day, relates to a powerfully strategic patent covering Apple's proposed advanced video headset.  This paves the way for Apple to boldly move this project to the front burner as it is now fully patent protected. In light of Apple's newly designed iPod Nano with video, we can see that Apple's next bold move in their iPod family could very well be the introduction of an iPod video headset display. The headset display could easily double as an iPod itself due to the miniaturization of components now found in today's video iPod nano. Imagine this video headset display also being able to contain a built-in video camera so that you could record hands free. And – the patent states that the video headset display design will also sport an advanced zooming feature that will allow the glasses, when not in video mode, to double as a next generation binocular headset. You'll be able to use this feature at concerts or sporting events to see your favorite artist or athlete close up no matter where you're sitting. That's in addition to it being your own private movie theatre. Can it get any cooler? 


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Revealing Otellini Keynote Takes a Whack at Apple's iPhone


Tuesday's opening IDF keynote by Intel's CEO Paul Otellini was interesting in many ways. It presented us with a message that Intel was on the cusp of change. A change from a company focused on computers to a company focused on computing. Otellini shows us the how the industry is rapidly evolving and reveals a rather stunning shift that Intel is prepared to make in order to prove that they're ready for this new era ahead. The implications of that shift will have a rippling effect in the years ahead I suspect. Otellini also pointed to in-vehicle infotainment, in part because of their Wind River acquisition – and to spice up the show, Otellini takes a whack at Apple's iPhone in no uncertain terms.

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Apple Gains Major Design Wins for MacBook Air, LED Cinema Display, more

MacBook Air Icon

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of five newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The patents reveal three new design wins for Apple which includes one for their now defunct first generation iPod Shuffle, one for their LED Cinema  Display and another for their hot and lickable MacBook Air.  The remaining patents cover a technology relating to Final Cut Pro and another relating to media player dismounting, a technology which Apple just updated in a new July filing. 

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To Music Publishers & Apple: Buzz Off Charging for Samples!

Jabberwocky - buzz off

The music industry never learns. There was a time not so long ago when the music industry was in chaos with plummeting sales. Illegal downloading was to blame. Along came Apple's iTunes and millions stepped forward to buy music legitimately online. I was one of those people who had dropped out of buying music all together. Not because I was illegally downloading music, because I wasn't. I just didn't go to music stores anymore. Then the iPod and iTunes came along. It brought my wife and I back into the music market again as it did for tens of millions, I suspect. So when I read the CNET article this morning about the music industry wanting to get back into our faces and gouge us again for buying legal music, my head popped.

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Apple Reveals the MIPI Testing System behind the new iPod Nano

Ipod nano video Icon In 2003, the Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) Alliance was formed by ARM, Nokia, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments who shared the objective of defining and promoting open specifications for interfaces inside mobile terminals. In 2006, the EE Times reported that Boris Bobrov, marketing manager for multimedia applications in the wireless group at Freescale Semiconductor Inc. stated that "We are already designing in quite a few of the MIPI interfaces. We see a lot of progress in their camera, display and audio interfaces and are looking at implementing those first." Fast forwarding to today, we read in one of Apple's patents that they think that the mobile industry processor interface (MIPI) advantageously enables a processor to substantially directly communicate with a peripheral, thereby further enabling tighter system integration, but that it also makes it more difficult or practically impossible to test and/or calibrate the peripheral after it is installed in the device. So in today's patent, Apple introduces systems and methods for testing a peripheral in accordance with a MIPI protocol. Apple's new iPod Nano clearly demonstrates that Apple now has the means to advance the integration of a video camera into a tiny device with stunning results due to the fact that they could properly test and calibrate the peripheral before going to market. Apple's leadership in this field is definitely shining brightly.

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Apple Patent Explores Advancing iPod Classic


It has recently been said that the days of the dedicated music player have come and gone – and with the advent of the new iPod Nano adding features like an FM radio with iTunes Tagging and video recording, the argument could be made that the iPod Classic is need of an identity facelift.  Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office revealed a patent application that could point to one of the possible next chapters for Apple's iPod Classic. The patent introduces us to the concept of "switchable sensor configurations."  That basically boils down to adding swiping and gesturing capabilities to the iPod Classic's traditional scroll wheel. This would allow the iPod Classic to add much of the same types of apps that the Nano just received in addition to introducing the ability to control applications and enter text better and so forth. Apple first advanced this concept in March 2008 when it presented us with the notion of adding Cover Flow and business apps to the iPod Classic and more recently, presented us with the Classic having the ability to use zooming features.  It's evident that Apple is exploring ways to advance the iPod Classic without destroying its unique place and retro look within their media player line up.

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Apple Wins 3G iPhone Design & iPhone Battery Audio Alert Patents


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 relating to a design win for Apple's 3G iPhone, a granted patent for the iPhone's low battery audio alert, which some feel isn't working all that well, a granted patent regarding hot plugging and one dealing with a connector determination process.


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Find out where Apple's latest iTunes Tagging Technology is Going


Apple introduced their next generation iPod Nano yesterday which comes with a new marketing feature called "iTunes Tagging." This nifty little feature is going to be hot and one of the most appreciated features over the years. We've all been there. We hear a tune on the radio and missed the DJ's description of the tune – or they ripped it off too quickly to catch. Yikes – it's a tune you want, a tune you can't get out of your head and you just can't find the name of that tune. Well, for those buying the new iPod Nano, that's an inconvenience of the past.  Apple's new iTunes Tagging allows you to see the metadata pertaining to that tune and allows you to tag it so that when you get home, the tunes information is simply sitting in a file on iTunes ready for you to review and buy it.  Tagging is simply a click of the iPod's click wheel. Apple's latest feature has been in the works at Apple for years. Apple finally executing on this feature fulfills one of their 2008 patent applications which richly details the advances of tagging and where it could be going in the bigger scheme of things.   


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Apple Patents Focus on Chinese iPhone Features


A US investment bank is predicting that by 2011 the largest portion of Apple's revenue will come from the iPhone. To get there of course, Apple's iPhone must do well in China. So it stands to reason that Apple's engineers are burning the midnight oil to get the iPhone experience just right for the largest market in the world.  Apple's patents show us how the iPhone's virtual keyboard is available in Chinese and that a special application is set to accept handwritten input of characters on the iPhone, much like the way that Apple's MacBook does using OS X Snow Leopard's innovative Chinese character input.

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Apple Wins Crucial iPhone Cryptography Patent

Iphone icon

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of six newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The one patent that stood out by far, was one relating to the cryptography technology behind Apple's iPhone. Apple's new iPhone OS 3.0 now allows iPhone and iPod touch owners to order movies, music videos, television shows and more over cellular or Wi-Fi networks. Apple's cryptography technology ensures that user transactions are made securely. It was noted that two out of three of the engineers credited on this patent were from out of State which could mean that Apple acquired parts of this technology in order to quicken the iPhone's security features to market. Other patents revealed today included an industrial design win for Apple's Universal Dock and a patent relating to subtractive computer display technology.  

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Apple Patent Rocks the Gym

COVER - Workout Recording System 

On September 3, 2009, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals much of what's behind the Nike + iPod program to Rock the Gym. The program currently is working with next generation cardio equipment from Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac, TechnoGym, Cybex, Freemotion and Matrix while promoted by both Fitness and Virgin Active sports clubs.  Apple's patent illustrates how any of their media players, including their new 3G-S could be connected to various kinds of cardio equipment to record data such as calories burned, elapsed time, distance, speed, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, incline, resistance, effort, and other types of information. The sports media system could wirelessly upload your workout data to your home computer and also uniquely allow you to compete with a colleague in the gym or in your city, somewhere else in the country or even on another continent.  This is Apple's fourth sporting relating patent this year with others touching on extreme sports, advanced sports monitoring systems and a futuristic Apple TV sporting program. 

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Apple Wins Patents for New iPod/iPhone Security Cable, iPod touch, More

IPod Touch - ICON

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of eight newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include a design patent for Apple's iPod touch, a design patent for their In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic and yet another interesting design patent for a new iPhone or iPod touch security cable. On June 17, Apple introduced Find My iPhone for MobileMe to help recover a lost iPhone or remotely wipe the personal data on it. So it seems to be the year for hand-held device security. Perhaps we'll hear more about this security cable at Apple's upcoming event. And lastly, perhaps Avie Tevanian's last  patent contribution concerning a graphical user interface and accompanying functionality for binding Web page definitional elements to a back-end state.

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