Apple Wins E-Ink, iPhoto & Magnetometer Accuracy Patents
In our second granted patent report of the day, we present you with a number of Apple's granted patents relating to Mail, Aperture and iPhoto. Yet perhaps the more important granted patents of the day go to two specific patents covering Apple's e-ink and magnetometer technologies; the latter of which is central to Apple's geo-location services found in all current iPhone and 3G iPad devices.
Granted Patent: Organizing Ink Information in Pen-Aware Computers
Apple was granted their first pen and ink-engine related patent back in July 2009. Today, Apple has won their second patent related to this technology under the title "Method and apparatus for acquiring and organizing ink information in pen-aware computer systems." For a technology that many doubters think will never come to an iPad, I find it funny that Apple keeps racking them up. I think that they've published six or more in the last 18 months or so.
As a matter of record, the lead engineer on this patent is listed as Larry Yeager. He was with Apple for 19 years and was one of the key brains behind Apple's Newton engine. He's now a Professor of Informatics at Indiana University. He left Apple in 2006 or about three years after this latest patent filing was filed. As noted below, the design of the tablet in this patent is clearly modern and in no way related to the past, as in the Newton.
Apple's Patent Abstract: An ink manager running at a computer system receives ink information entered at a pen-based input/display device and accumulates the ink information into ink strokes. The ink manager communicates with a handwriting recognition engine and includes an ink phrase termination engine that is configured to detect the occurrence of one or more ink phrase termination events by examining the ink information. Upon the occurrence of an ink phrase termination event, the ink manager notifies the handwriting recognition engine and organizes the preceding ink strokes into an ink phrase data structure. The ink manager may also pass the ink phrase to an application executing on the computer system that is associated with the ink information, and it, in response, may return a reference pointer and a recognition context to the ink manager. The reference pointer and recognition context are then appended to the ink phrase data structure.
Apple credits Larry Yaeger, Richard Fabrick and Giulia Pagallo as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,894,641 originally filed in Q3 2009.
Granted Patent: iOS Magnetometer Accuracy
Apple has been granted a patent for iOS magnetometer accuracy. A related patent which details the magnetometer accuracy in more depth was only filed in December 2010. The patent emphasizes geo-location applications, especially for road trips and tourist attraction location mapping.
Apple's patent abstract states that a parameter related to the Earth's magnetic field could be used to determine the accuracy of a magnetometer – used in iOS devices. In one aspect, a first instance of a parameter related to Earth's magnetic field is determined using data generated by the magnetometer.
The magnetometer data could be based in part on a position of the mobile device with respect to the Earth. A second instance of the parameter could be determined using data generated by a model of Earth's magnetic field. The model data could also be based in part on the position of the mobile device with respect to the Earth. The first instance of the parameter could be compared with the second instance of the parameter. An accuracy metric for the magnetometer could be determined based on a result of the comparison. An indication of the accuracy metric could be presented by the mobile device.
Apple credits Robert Mayor, Patrick Piemonte, Ronald Huang and Parin Patel as the inventors of Granted Patent 7,891,103 originally filed in Q2 2009.
Other Granted Patents Published Today
Apple was granted a patent for their 2005 iPod patent relating to its Light activated hold switch; In another granted patent, Apple invention relates to processing RAW images in Aperture, and more particularly to systems and methods for deriving a tone reproduction curve for image conversion and applying the tone reproduction curve during pre-processing of a RAW image; Apple also chalked up a granted patent relating to the threaded presentation in their Mail app as well as one for interactive thumbnails in iPhoto.
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 Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application and/or Issued Patent should be read in its entirety for further details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.