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Apple Thinks iWork Pro with Newly Acquired Patents

1. Cover. iWork Pro -  iAm Organized
When Apple sent out their press release last week about their upcoming 128GB iPad, we chose to headline it as "Apple Thinks Enterprise" due to the focus the press release took. A specific reference by AutoCAD's VP Amy Bunszel stated that users of the new 128GB iPad would have an advantage in being able to view, edit and share large and highly detailed AutoCAD files. Apple's press release emphasized that all Fortune 500 and 85% of Global 500 companies are currently deploying or testing the iPad. Devices powered by iOS have opened the door for Apple in the enterprise market where OS X could never. So it comes as no surprise to hear that Apple has acquired some rather high-end enterprise-class software to take the iPad to the next level. Yesterday, Montreal based Maya-Systems revealed in a press release that they sold user interface patents to Apple relating to their Axis-based technology which is behind their IamOrganized workflow management tool that is cloud based.  


Maya Systems first introduced their IAmOrganized solution at CES 2012 and framed it as the next disruptive technology. They described their product by stating it was the first all-in-one content management, sharing platform and workflow management software to use an axis-based interface. IAmOrganized brings content management to a whole new level by harnessing the hottest trend in content viewing and turning it into a tool used to store, sort, retrieve, and share files of any format.


Mathieu Audet, President of Montreal-based Maya-Systems stated at the time that "Axis are the new way to view content. But so far they've only been used to display files." The IamOrganized platform unleashes "the full power of axis by making them an integrated working tool."


Interestingly, while axis are slowly but surely becoming ubiquitous thanks to touch and portable devices, Maya Systems began its patenting strategy in the early 2000's, ahead of the big names in the industry.


IAmOrganized also renders multi-click location-based folder trees obsolete by bringing in attribute-based classification.


Designed for both personal and business use, IAmOrganized might just become the new universal way to manage files. It is fully customizable to suit needs in all sectors. It can be used on both PCs and Mac's and with an array of portable devices."


The initial news of Apple acquiring 18 Maya-Systems was reported on yesterday by Eric Slivka of MacRumors. You could view a screenshot of the IAmOrganized interface that is zoom-able and read an overview of this interesting system here. Their sample UI illustrates how you could organize photos, project documents (incoming and outgoing) and communications/email in a single viewable window that is swipable on on a touch display. I could easily see why Apple wanted the patents to this.    


The one-time consumer centric Apple is now most definitely making a push further into the enterprise due to iOS based devices. Apple's acquisition of Maya-Systems interface patents that are geared for touch centric devices will provide Apple with the means to introduce next generation iWork Pro level applications at some time in the future.






Apple has placed a great deal of energy behind marketing the iPad to the enterprise market with site dedicated to business. The site includes high profile segments covering Companies that are integrating the iPad into their respective Companies. Some of Apple's segments highlight Companies such as Pepsi, global pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo, Redlands Police Department, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Taiwan's EVA Airlines, Canada's CTV News and Standard Charted Bank. If you're a small business owner reading this report, then you should check out Apple's iPad solutions website to see how the iPad could help your business.



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I wonder why Apple just didn't buy the company...

Possibly, Apple bought the IP and that includes a free license back to Maya-Systems to use the IP.

They may have had it but didn't put it together like Maya did.

Disney was the king of animated films until Pixar actually out thought them with technology that they had but couldn't figure out how to implement it like Pixar. So they bought Pixar instead of whining.

I'd give Maya more credit than you are, that's for sure. But I get your point, because I think you're an ex NeXT guy who worked on this right? So it stands to reason why you're a little defensive.

Mmm... iWork Pro... Interesting...

When I saw the announcement of the Maya-Systems patent purchase, I wasn't able to "easily" determine what it was all about... so I just moved on.

Thanks, Jack, for adding this perspective!

I linked to the site and watched the demos -- and now I understand the significance of this purchase.

I suspect that the techniques could be used for home, SMB and enterprise using a combination of a Home server, iCloud or a back-room server.

It is interesting that some existing Apple system features such as metadata generation, Spotlight, smart collections appear to dovetail nicely with the IamOrganized™ offerings.

It is especially interesting that one of the most compelling features of Apple's revolutionary Pro Video Editor (Final Cut Pro X) is its organizational and search/retrieval capabilities. This includes metadata capture, metadata creation (by software analysis *), key wording and smart collections.

* FCP X can analyze AV clips for things like: closeup/medium/broad shots; number of people; stabilization needed; color correction needed; sound correction ended, etc,

Here's a short video that shows how drop-dead easy it is to classify clips with keywords and smart collections

I can visualize these same techniques being used with Apple's IamOrganized™ implementation.

Apple [and more importantly NeXT] had this technology as Portable Distributed Objects with EOF back in '96. The Cloud Infrastructure is the new piece [a new take on Distributed Client-Server data centers].

I think Apple bought these patents to eliminate any chance at IP infringement. Much of their work would definitely infringe upon these patents and it's better to acquire before deploying the Apple solutions.

Whether we deal with Entity-Relationships, XML Plist Attributes, etc., and which backend datastore interfaces Apple deploys on [combined with WebDAV standards and more] acquiring this IP eliminates future legal booboos.

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