Apple Patents Introduce Interactive Maps & Heads-Up Scrolling
On December 19, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two mildly interesting patent applications from Apple. The first covers a likely future upgrade to iOS Maps involving a quick and easy interactive menu to find maps of interest be they for transit, tourists or shopping. The second patent filing relates to a heads-up scrolling methodology that will allow users to easily scroll through multiple data records in a database.
Apple's many acquisitions of mapping related companies this year such as Locationary, HopStop, Embark and an indoor mapping company known as WifiSLAM provides Apple with a means to add different layers to their iOS Map app. As you can see in our cover graphic, Apple is illustrating a new menu UI that will provide users with a means of calling up maps that are more relevant to them quickly.
In the future, you'll go to any mall, known or unknown, and be able to call up the local mall's store map without the need of finding the mall's directory thanks to in-part to the WifiSLAM acquisition. And with so much new talent at Apple from three transit-map companies, Apple's likely to be providing commuters with the very best transit maps on the planet in the not-too-distant future.
Apple's patent overview adds that their invention relates to an interactive capability enabling a user to dynamically adjust the content of an electronic map. Different modes can be chosen to emphasize features relevant to a particular interest, e.g. commuting, tourism, weather, etc. Combinations of modes can be selected to create a customized map.
When a search is conducted, the chosen mode functions as a filter for the retrieved results. The map responds to user input directed to a given feature, to display information relevant to that feature. Tapping or clicking on a highway displays the locations of services along the highway. Touching two points on the map causes available routes between them to be computed and displayed to the user, along with relevant data for each route.
Geospatial applications can be integrated with the map to provide information pertaining to the area displayed on the map, and to refine search results to those that are relevant to the area. For more details about Apple's next generation interactive maps, see Apple's patent filing published today by the US Patent and Trademark office.
Whether you work for small or large company or just love cars, technology or any other specialty where you have a large database of images or files the following invention may interest you. Whether Apple's patent better relates to a future feature for FileMaker is unknown at this time.
Apple's patent overview states that their invention relates to methods, program products, and systems for heads-up scrolling. In heads-up scrolling, a scrolling control can be used to scroll through multiple data records in a database. When a slider of the scrolling control receives an input dragging the slider, a semitransparent window can be overlaid on content being displayed. The semitransparent window can have a user-specified layout for formatting one or more data fields of a data record. When the slider is dragged, the content being overlaid upon can remain static. Content in the semitransparent window can be updated to reflect content in a data record corresponding to a position of the slider. The content in the semitransparent window can be formatted according to the user-specified layout, which may be different from a format of the content under the semitransparent window.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary heads-up scrolling user interface.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary user interface for configuring a heads-up display window.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 illustrates an example heads-up scrolling user interface for multiple levels of sorts.
To review Apple's patent for more details, click here.
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