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Apple Wins Patents for Wild 3D Gesturing, Autofocus & More

1. Apple Wins Patents for Wild 3D Gesturing, Autofocus & More
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-two newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Two of the noteworthy granted patents issued today include one that details Apple's advanced autofocus features for iOS cameras while a second patent covers wild new 3D gestures coming to a future iPad.


Apple Wins a Major Patent Relating to 3D Gesturing


Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to working with 3D objects.


Overview: Who will benefit from 3D Gesturing?


Apple introduced us to various new gesture inputs back in July 2011 that could one day be used to render complex 3D objects. Back then, Apple stated that a product design house would be able to use a futuristic iPad (device 100) to quickly generate 3D models of consumer products. Video game developers could use it to quickly generate 3D models of figures in video games. Users could use it to quickly generate avatars for use in video conferencing applications. Users of a virtual 3D environment could quickly generate or modify avatars or objects in the virtual 3D environment. Homeowners could generate 3D models of their houses based on aerial photographs, and add the 3D models to a map application.


2. Generating, Modifying & Manipulating 3D Objects using 3D Gesture Inputs

Apple Introduces 3D Gesturing Inputs


Additionally, Apple introduced us to various 3D gesturing inputs. Apple's patent FIG.1 noted above illustrates an iPad (device 100) which includes a touch-sensitive display that is responsive to touch inputs, 2D and 3D gesture inputs. An application program, such as a CAD program, could be executed on the iPad to enable a user to generate and manipulate 2D and 3D objects.


Apple Introduces the Pinch-and Pull Gesture


Next up, Apple introduced us to the Pinch-and-Pull gesture. Apple's Patent FIG. 12 shows us a sequence of gesture inputs for generating a raised portion on a surface. Assume that surface 280 represented by a mesh has been generated and a top view of that surface 280 is shown on the display. The user could apply pinch-and-pull gesture input 282 to location 284 on the surface to cause location 284 to be "pulled up" to form raised portion 286, in which location 284 becomes the highest point of raised portion 286.


3. Apple introduces us to Pinch-and-Pull + Rotation Gesturing for CAD Apps


Apple credits Nicholas King and Todd Benjamin as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q1 2010. To review more on this patent, review our July 2011 report.


Apple is Granted a Patent for Camera Auto Focus Features


Apple has been granted a patent titled "Auto focus speed enhancement using object recognition and resolution" that relates to an autofocus digital camera which includes a moveable lens system, an image sensor coupled with the moveable lens system, a processor coupled with the image sensor, and data storage coupled with the processor.


The data storage stores a table with multiple entries, each entry including a face size and a corresponding lens focus position. The processor performs an autofocus operation when taking a picture, in which the processor detects a face in an image captured by the image sensor. The size of the detected face is then calculated. A stored lens focus position is selected from the table in storage, based on the calculated face size. The moveable lens system is then signaled to move to a final lens position, which is the selected lens focus position. This enables the moveable lens system to jump directly to a lens position that is expected to result in a sharp picture of the scene, without having to go through a full sweep of lens positions.


4. Apple granted patent for autofocus system with moveable lens


Apple credits E-Cheng Chang as the sole inventor of this patent which was originally filed in Q1 2009. To review this patent and its 21 patent claims see granted patent 8,233,078.


Apple Receives a Granted Patent for the iMac's Back Hinge Mechanisms


Apple has been granted a patent for the iMac's hinge mechanisms. More particularly, the invention relates to hinge mechanisms adapted to rotatably couple components in unique ways.


5. Apple is Granted a Patent for the iMac's Hinge Mechanism


Apple credits Brett Degner, John Ternus and Andy Lauder as the inventors of this patent which was originally filed in Q1 2007 and re-filed in Q1 2011. To review this patent and its 22 patent claims, see granted patent 8,230,553.


Apple Granted Two Patents for the MacBook


Apple has been granted both a patent for the MacBook under the titled "Portable computer display housing" and a design patent for their now defunct MacBook. Interesting to note that the patent's port configuration illustrated below doesn't seem to match what the MacBook actually ended up with.


6. Apple Wins a Design Patent for MacBook


Apple credits VP Industrial Design Jonathan Ive and team members Jody Akana, Bartley Andre, Jeremy Bataillou, Daniel Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Evans Hankey, Richard Howarth, Duncan Kerr, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Peter Russell-Clarke, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer as the inventors of Granted Patent D664,531, originally filed in Q3 2011.


Final Patent Round-Up


Over and above the granted patents that were specifically reported on today, we present you with links to all of the other granted patents in our Final Patent Round-Up as follows:


8,234,572 Remote access to advanced playlist features of a media player


Apple's Abstract: A media player can have advanced-playlist creation capabilities such as the ability to automatically generate a playlist around a "seed" song selected by a user. In some embodiments, the accessory can determine whether the media player can use a particular song as a seed song for an advanced playlist and can so inform the user. The user can then operate the accessory's user interface to create an advanced playlist based on a particular song, rather than having to interact directly with the media player.


8,234,564 Transforms and animations of web-based content

8,234,512 Motion sensor data processing using various power management modes

8,234,245 Methods and systems for managing data (re: OS X Finder)

8,234,545 Data storage with incremental redundancy

8,234,558 Adaptive artwork for bandwidth- and/or memory-limited devices

8,234,392 Methods and apparatuses for providing a hardware accelerated web engine

8,234,245 Methods and systems for managing data

8,233,789 Dynamic exposure metering based on face detection

8,233,535 Region-based processing of predicted pixels

8,233,366 Context-based error indication methods and apparatus

8,233,026 Scalable video encoding in a multi-view camera system

8,232,973 Method, device, and graphical user interface providing word recommendations for text input

8,232,970 Scan sequence generator

8,232,771 Battery gas gauge reset mechanism

8,232,672 Power adapters for powering and/or charging peripheral devices

8,233,950 Wireless portable device with reduced RF signal interference

8,234,692 - System and method for processing an upload of a program with export compliance information



Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.


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