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New Media Player Armband Revealed for Attachable Accessories

On February, 11, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published several new patent applications from Apple covering such technologies as MagSafe, computer hibernation and an odd one that seems to be an old NeXT patent brought over to Apple listing Avie Tevanian. Yet there are two particular patents of interest today that oddly yet intricately relate to one another. One supports an attachment accessory and the other noted above, accommodates such an accessory. The patent credited to Apple engineers Gordon and Frazier Cameron relates to an all new media player armband. Apple's Patent FIG. 3B presents a back view of pouch 300 for the armband which is holding electronic device with attachment 304. One of the possible accessories we may see come to market is presented to you in this report while the other dates back to a July 2009 patent report covering an add-on accessory that would accommodate a SIM card, Flash drive and more.

Advanced Media Navigation via Motion Sensor & Accelerometer

This is Apple's second patent on this subject in recent months. Patently Apple's December 10, 2009 patent report covered the media player's full range of motions associated with today's patent regarding advanced navigation via motion sensors and accelerometer. The combined patents will provide you with a fuller picture and/or scope pertaining to this subject matter.

To enhance a user's experience interacting with the electronic device, the electronic device may provide the user with an opportunity to provide inputs by moving (e.g., shaking) the electronic device. In particular, the electronic device may detect inputs provided by a user moving the electronic device based on the output of the motion sensor of the device. For example, the motion sensor may provide an output associated with particular movement of the device and cause the electronic device to perform an operation or generate an event in response to detecting the motion sensor output. The detected movement may include, for example, movement along one or more particular axes of the motion sensor (e.g., a tilting motion detected in a z-y plane, or a shaking motion detected by along any of the accelerometer axes).

The electronic device may perform any suitable operation or generate any suitable event in response to detecting a particular motion. For example, in response to detecting a shaking motion, the electronic device may shuffle a media playlist, skip to a previous or next media item (e.g., music), change the volume of played back media, pause or play media, change a playlist attribute (e.g., toggle a shuffle or looping feature, for example on and off), or perform any other suitable operation. In some embodiments, the electronic device may allow a user to navigate menus or access functions contextually based on currently displayed menus in response to detecting particular movement of the device. For example, the electronic device may display a "Now Playing" display, navigate a cover flow display (e.g., display a next or different album cover), scroll through options, pan or scan to a radio station (e.g., move across preset radio stations when in a radio mode), or display a next media item (e.g., scroll through images in response to detecting a tilt motion) in response to detecting a particular movement of the device. In some embodiments, the electronic device may perform a particular operation independent of the current mode or menu of the electronic device. For example, a media player may always shuffle a playlist in response to detecting a particular movement of the device independent of the application or mode in use when the movement is detected (e.g., shuffle a playlist in a media playback mode, in a workout mode, and in a clock mode). In some embodiments, the user may select particular electronic device motions (e.g., from a known library) to associate different motions with different electronic device operations.

Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted above is a schematic view of an illustrative electronic device for detecting user inputs using a motion sensor; FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an illustrative accelerometer. Accelerometer 200 may include a micro electromechanical system (MEMS) having inertial mass 210, the deflections of which may be measured (e.g., using analog or digital circuitry). For example, mass 210 may be coupled to springs 212 and 213 along x-axis 202, springs 214 and 215 along y-axis 204, and springs 216 and 217 along z-axis 206. As mass 210 is displaced along any of axes 202, 204 and 206, the corresponding springs may deflect and provide signals associated with the deflection to the electronic device.

In Respect to the iPhone: In some embodiments, the electronic device may include communications circuitry for communicating with other devices or with one or more servers using any suitable communications protocol. Electronic device 100 may include one more instances of communications circuitry for simultaneously performing several communications operations using different communications networks. For example, communications circuitry may support Wi-Fi (e.g., a 802.11 protocol), Ethernet, Bluetooth, (which is a trademark owned by Bluetooth Sig, Inc.), radio frequency systems, cellular networks (e.g., GSM, AMPS, GPRS, CDMA, EV-DO, EDGE, 3GSM, DECT, IS-136/TDMA, iDen, LTE or any other suitable cellular network or protocol), infrared, TCP/IP (e.g., any of the protocols used in each of the TCP/IP layers), HTTP, BitTorrent, FTP, RTP, RTSP, SSH, Voice over IP (VOIP), any other communications protocol, or any combination thereof.

Apple credits Andrea Mucignat and Bryan James as the inventors of patent application 20100033422, originally filed in Q3 2008.

Apple's new armband clearly indicates that Apple is expecting to accommodate media player accessories like the ones presented to you in this report. To learn more about Apple's new armband, see patent 20100032462, originally filed in 2008.

Other Patent Applications of Interest Published Today

Magnetic Connector for Electronic Device: Apple's patent relates to their Magsafe Power Adapter. For more information on patent 20100035441, view this temporary link. Apple was granted patent 7,641,477 on January 5 for MagSafe in additon to being granted a design patent on January 12, 2010.

Method and Apparatus for Binding User Interface Objects to Application Objects: Apple's Abstract: A graphical user interface (GUI) and accompanying functionality for binding Web page definitional elements to a back-end state (e.g., client- or server-side back-end state) and custom logic is provided. In one embodiment, a template containing definitional elements, custom logic, and bindings are generated that define all or a portion of a Web page based on input received and functionality provided by the invention.

This patent seems to be ancient if you go by the patent figures pointing to Netscape's CyberWind and listing former Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Avie Tevanian who left Apple in May 2006 as one of the inventors of patent 20100037154. Oddly, the patent is shown as being filed in Q3 2009. Obviously this was a NeXT based patent brought over to Apple. The question is, why only now? For more information, view this temporary link.

Method and Apparatus for Facilitating Device Hibernation: Apple's Abstract: One embodiment of the present invention provides a system that enables a computing device to save additional power by entering a "hibernation mode," wherein the active state of the computing device is preserved in non-volatile storage while power to volatile storage is turned off. During operation, the system reanimates a computing device from a hibernation image by restoring reanimation code from the hibernation image and then executing the reanimation code. While executing this reanimation code, the system restores the rest of the hibernation image by, reading compressed data containing the rest of the hibernation image, and decompressing the compressed data using computational circuitry within the computing device. During this process, the decompression operations are overlapped with the reading operations to improve performance. For more information on patent 20100037076, view this temporary link.

Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application and/or grant is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application and/or grant should be read in its entirety for further details. For additional information on any patent reviewed here today, simply feed the individual patent number noted above into this search engine.

Please note that any of the temporary links presented in today's report are in fact temporary and may redirect you to unrelated patents in the future. In such cases refer back to the search engine instructions above.


Jack Purcher

Tom, Apple has a patent covering a sophisticated Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) as shown below:

Patent: http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2009/06/apple-tv-to-take-sporting-events-to-a-whole-new-level.html

Granted Patent: http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2009/12/apple-wins-patents-for-imac-major-sporting-events-devices-yet-to-surface.html

Anyone who loves running, jogging or even power walking would want this working with their Apple media players. This is definitely a patent we all hope comes to life sooner rather than later.


The optimist in me thinks that's a patent that hints at the possibilities for a Heart Rate monitor accessory that will wirelessly communicate with a HR monitor. There was a picture/fake picture of iTunes expanding what Nike+ did, and iTunes itself pushing more into the sports scene. Unfortunately it's just a patent for an armband at the moment. But with a dongle attachment, you'd want such an armband....

Some loyal Apple fans, who do running, jumping, climbing trees have been waiting for HRM for a long time - maybe we'll have to wait for iTunes X for this.

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