Even though it's been called the idiot box by all of us at one point in time, it's still where many of us end up in front of when our never ending day gives us an hour or two to kill. All we want is to turn off the net and get a little entertainment that's a little more polished – be it a movie, TV show, video game or even a little music. The biggest and coolest thing to come to TV of late has been the shift to the flat screen. Playing video games on these units in 1080p is just phenomenal. Yet the question always is: what's next? In today's report we take a look at four recent Sony patents that definitely provide us with a peek at what they're working on. Some of the ideas are rather interesting and are bound to be features that we'll all take for granted in just a matter of years. And again we'll ask the same old question: What's next? When it comes to the idiot box we're still hopeful that one day it will joint its brethren in the smart-device category. Yes, the smart TV is coming to a showroom near you, one day; and all of us idiots just said Amen.
On February 28, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a granted patent from Apple that could be considered a foundational 3D interface patent. The patent describes a new "transition engine" that will be added to OS X and iOS. This new engine will allow a user to choose a tiny object on their new 3D desktop and zoom it out to see what it is or to read a filed PDF or view a photo or video and then allow it to zoom back to the position on their desktop with a cross fading effect in play. It could also transition using an animated effect. So instead of clicking on the object to open it, the user will have the ability to simply zoom an image or app in and out with ease. When you think about it awhile, it's one of the coolest and most refreshing ideas that I've read about in some time.
On February 28, 2012, The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of twenty-four newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second report of the day we primarily focus on two patents. One involves yet another win for Apple's future Telephonic MacBook and the other for a dynamic input graphic display. The latter patent is really interesting as Apple envisions how a device interface could one day morph depending on its orientation. Some of the ideas may have been implemented in iOS devices already, but others could still be on the drawing board for a future device.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 24 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Today's first granted patent report highlights three out of five important Multi-Touch patent wins. The three key patents cover such matters as multitouch auto scanning, multipoint touchscreens and Apple's 3D curved substrate lamination process that integrates multitouch technology into their Magic Mouse. No matter how you slice it, it's a huge day for Apple on the Multi-touch patent front.
Who would have thought of Samsung storming the Kitchen Appliances market years ago? Who could have guessed that they would storm and succeed in both the Android smartphone market as well as challenge Apple's iPad? So when a 2012 Samsung patent illustrates that they already have a working model of a multiplayer, multiplatform gaming system in the works, you have to take them very seriously. Is Samsung preparing to storm the gaming market? Only time will tell.
Earlier this month both Business Insider and eWeek made it abundantly clear that they thought Google's foray into hardware, beginning with a music gadget for the home, would be a disastrous move. Well, according to a new Google patent, they've have their sights on making hardware as far back as Q3 2010. Google's patent clearly illustrates their desire to deliver not one, but two distinct Android phone docks. One is aimed for the desktop market while the other is aimed for the car dock market. In particular, the car dock model will offer users a series of unique apps including one for full turn-by-turn navigation. At the end of the day, Google's delivery of some common ground devices designed to serve the entire Android ecosystem only makes sense.
Patently Apple is proud to introduce our new spinoff called Patent Bolt, a blog primarily focused on reporting about exciting new inventions from some of the leading players in the PC and mobile industry outside of Apple. Patent Bolt is an exciting new addition to our site that will meet the needs of many communities looking for better IP news on the coming inventions that could change our world.
At this year's CES, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer revealed that Kinect was coming to the PC – and on February one they introduced Kinect for Windows. Even though we're not quite sure what Kinect for Windows will offer PC users, a new Microsoft patent application reveals that Kinect will in fact work with documents. Microsoft's latest Kinect related patent focuses on a new feature called the Seekbar. The patent also hints that the Natural User Interface associated with Kinect will work itself into future computers, tablets and phones that have integrated cameras. Considering that it's been reported that Microsoft is already in the early stages of licensing its Kinect technology to the likes of Vizio and Sony, it's only a matter of time before we find that Kinect is integrated into our computer displays and beyond. With Google developing a voice activated TV Remote and Apple thinking of one utilizing Siri and 3D Motion, the race is on to deliver the next TV related Killer App – the Smart Remote. Today, we get a tiny glimpse of what Microsoft has on Kinect's drawing board.
Google has invented an original search based gesture for future Android devices. In some cases, the new "continuous gestures" will allow a user to simply and quickly draw a circle around what they want to search for in the form of the letter "g" or in the combination of "g + o" as noted in our cover graphic above. When the user lifts their finger from the display, the search is automatically initiated. If a user wishes to use another search engine such as Yahoo or Wikipedia, they simply use a different continuous gesture in the form of the letter "S." This will trigger a pop-up menu with search engine options such as Wikipedia, Yahoo or others. Being that it's a new gesture concept, Google has gone to extraordinary lengths to explain this concept to both users and realistically, the USPTO examiners, to ensure that they nail this gesture as their own going forward. Our report tries to accommodate Google's presentation, and if you're not the reading type, then pretend that's it's a Playboy article and only look at the pictures.
A Series of New Apple Inventions Reveal a DJ-Styled Crossfading Feature, Advanced Camera Sensors & Possible 3D Motion TV Remote
On February 23, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of very interesting patent applications from Apple that reveal a wide range of technologies. Those covered in today's report include a new beat-matched crossfading DJ-Styled feature for Macs and iOS devices; advances in 3D motion technology that could be used in a future version of Apple's Magic Mouse or TV remote; new advanced dual image sensors for future iOS cameras and a peek at a few iPhone technologies that will accommodate even thinner iOS device designs in the future.
A Communications-Precision Time and Frequency Solutions company by the name of Brandywine Communications Technologies has launched a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The case involves the iPhone and iPad's use of voicemail, as presented in their patents.
A recent patent filing by Google surprisingly indicates that they're seriously eying the desktop and notebook markets for Android. Interestingly, the patent seems to focus on similar capabilities now found in Apple's Multi-Touch Trackpad and Magic Trackpad. In many ways that's understandable considering that Google is working on the Android for x86 project along with a serious list of other Intel-Android related projects. Android is headed for the desktop and today's report lays out Google's specific work on trackpad operations corresponding to touchscreen events.
Apple Wins Patents for a Future Multi-Positional iPad Stand, Core Multi-Touch Technology and the Multi-Touch iPod nano's Design
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this group include patents covering the design of the iPod nano; Apple's fun and goofy photo booth application; another core multi-touch patent gift wrapped for their legal team and finally, a granted patent for a future built-in multi-positional stand for the iPad. Apple's proposed stand would provide users with superior angulation for typing on the iPad's virtual keyboard in landscape mode.
Just six days prior to Apple officially launching iCloud and Siri, Google was rushing their patent application to the US Patent and Trademark Office covering a new Google TV remote and/or application. The new remote will use voice controls associated with Google's own cloud services. The user will be able to use their Android Phone as the remote to make inquiries about TV shows and the TV will list what's available as illustrated in our cover graphic. Apple has had a similar feature under Remote for several years now, but it doesn't relate to live TV as Google's will. Google's real competitor on this particular front will come from Samsung who just announced their latest TV remote with voice controls and a touch pad. The race to bring the best next generation TV Remote to market is officially on.
The US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark application for "iChat." The new filing updates the underlying International Class foundation for iChat so as to better protect it going forward. Then again, going forward may have a limited life span. Apple's new "Messages" Beta is now available for download which when installed, replaces iChat. Although Apple states that "iChat will continue to work" on certain OS versions right up to OS X Lion, it won't for those upgrading to the next iteration of OS X dubbed "Mountain Lion" that's due to be released this summer. But until iChat finally fades into the sunset, Apple wants it better protected.
Last week a patent filing revealed that Apple is planning to bring a teleprompter tool to both iMovie and Final Cut Pro X sometime in the future. This week, the adventure deepens. Apple now reveals that they're also thinking about bringing a new and novel Storyboard tool to both programs. This must have been an idea that Steve Jobs brought to the table being that it was an everyday tool used by his Pixar team. And to close off our report, we reveal an interesting patent figure that was published today that might have been an accident. The patent figure shows us a never seen before iPhone accessory. Time will tell if the idea ever pans out, but you should check it and weigh-in for yourself.
On February 16, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed an all new binding protocol designed to allow users to automatically or manually bind attachments easily to a phone call or even a voicemail message. Additionally, the media could be transferred during or after the phone call. Another feature describes how sent photos, for example, could automatically be opened on the receiving end in a photo viewer or editing application. Today's report illustrates several interesting iPhone interface features associated with Apple's new binding protocol. This is an extremely practical patent, especially for social networking types wanting to share photos quickly and conveniently with their friends and those in the enterprise that need to exchange documents on the go with their office and/or clients.
Back in October 2011 we reported that Apple's "Slide to Unlock" patent stirred up a hornet's nest in Taiwan and we now see that Apple has filed another patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung over this feature. On Tuesday, Apple's CEO Tim Cook stated during a Goldman Sachs conference that he loved competition – as long as they invented their own stuff. While it's pretty clear that Samsung has copied Apple's slide to unlock feature on certain smartphones, relief may be on the way. A new Google patent application that was published by the by the US Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month, reveals that Google will offer Android OEMs new options to unlock future Android devices. One method simply involves using voice recognition while a second method involves a nifty two-icon methodology. Although Google's alternative unlocking feature based on face recognition method has been compromised, it now appears that Google has finally found a few new tricks to unlock future Android devices while avoiding patent infringement trouble with Apple. That's something that Samsung will be very glad to get their hands on – sooner rather than later. Report Updated Feb. 17, 2012
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has published Apple's latest trademark filings for "iBooks Author." Apple announced their new iBooks Authoring application during a January special Apple Event unveiling iBooks 2 for the iPad. The new iBooks Authoring tool/application allows anyone to create and publish next generation online books. Apple's trademark filings cover for the name and logo's descriptive reference.
Apple Granted 19 Patents Covering Bend Switches, Specialty Display Films, Airplane Mode Functionality, MacBook Protection Mechanisms & More
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of nineteen newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Today's report covers an interesting yet eclectic mix of granted patents including one that credits the late, great Steve Jobs for the MacBook Air's design. Update: Will Apple use their MacBook Air design patents to challenge new Ultrabook challengers?
Apple may Breathe New Life into their Video Headset Project While Sharp Ramps-Up IGZO Displays for Tablets this Month
A recent rumor report stated that Google would soon be releasing new video glasses into the market – yet concluded by stating that "the product is still a very long way from being finished." It also stated that Google's prototype looked like a pair of Oakley glasses. That's a humorous example considering that their newly acquired Motorola tried pushing these glasses back in 2005 and failed miserably. Though at the end of the day, there's no doubt that one of these days video glasses will emerge from either Google or Apple – who just happens to have a granted patent on such a device. Interestingly a recent market development has come to light that could give both of these video headset projects a little push in the right direction. We'll take a look at that development that could make the difference. Additionally, our report takes a look at new information that arose during a financial conference with Sharp's President earlier this month that briefly touched on their upcoming IGZO displays for tablets. The question is, which company will be first to introduce these new displays into the market?
Late yesterday, Apple Inc. (US) and Apple Sales International (Ireland) filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against Motorola Mobility in the Southern District of California, San Diego Office. Apple's complaint before the court states that this is a lawsuit asserting claims for breach of contract, declaratory, and injunctive relief on one of Motorola's patents. Apple claims that they're entitled to a permanent anti-suit injunction enjoining Motorola from continuing to prosecute litigation in Germany alleging that Apple infringes its patents by virtue of incorporating Qualcomm chips into its products. Qualcomm has informed Apple that they have already paid Motorola for the licenses and covenants for Qualcomm and its customers, including Apple. What makes this court document such a riveting read is that it walks us through the entire battle Apple is having with Motorola through the German Courts. It discusses the adjoining arguments surrounding standards-essential patents or what is known as Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory or "FRAND" terms and how Motorola is attempting to halt sales of Apple's hottest iPhone to date: the iPhone 4S. This is all done without the need for IP talking heads to interpret the events. This is Apple's full accounting of the events as they perceive them to be and on that basis alone it's worth a read. This report includes the full body of Apple's formal document before the court. While android fans have openly attacked Apple as being the evil one on all patent fronts over the last year, Pando Daily asks this question this week: Will Google Become the New Patent Villain? The powerful case that Apple makes before the court does in fact make one wonder that aloud.
Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed their intent to add a new teleprompter feature to both iMovie and Final Cut Pro. Sometime in the future you'll be able to both film yourself on an iPad while reading your very own script like the pros. This is Apple's second patent relating to future iReporter tools for iOS devices. Is it a trend? Well, last March, KBTV anchor-reporter Mike McNeill was the first person to shoot a news segment using the iPad 2 and Apple may want to tap into this new trend relating to Street Reporting. While this type of reporting won't be mainstream anytime soon, it surely has its place in impromptu situations or for informal video casts. This is Patently Apple reporting live for J-A-C-K news.
Switzerland based SmartData has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in the Northern District of California. The patent infringement lawsuit concerns Apple's iPhone, AppleTV and Remote. The court document shows that Apple and SmartData were once in negotiations for licensing. On a second front, Apple has launched a new patent infringement case against Samsung in San Jose. While the formal complaint has yet to be unlocked, we'll show you what we have thus far.
According to patent records, Apple has been dreaming and working on the smart bezel since 2005 – which actually predates the iPhone. In 2010, the smart bezel project began to gather some real steam and today the project takes an interesting twist. The difference this time around, is that touch zones aren't being limited to just the bezel. No, this time around, Apple is considering the use of touch zones on any surface that makes sense for a given application, be it the iBook or video games. It could equally be applied to an iPad or a television. Now that Apple has proven that touch zones actually work by releasing their Magic Trackpad into the market in 2010, Apple seems to now think that it's time to advance this technology to iOS devices. When you add this specific patent to the other great inventions published today covering coded magnet applications and a new 3D GUI option, it's clear that Apple has some definite plans of taking iOS devices to the next level in the coming years. Let's hope that the Crazy Ones push some of these great ideas to market sooner rather than later.