In a recent report we learned that Apple is showing more than a mild interest in 3D and virtual reality apps, they're actively listing job opportunities for those with experience in developing apps for virtual reality experiences. More specifically, Apple is looking for app developers to build user interfaces and "high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems for prototyping and user testing." While this is open to interpretation, Apple has been working on several projects related to new kinds of displays supporting 3D imagery without glasses while continuing their work on an Oculus-like device. In fact Apple was recently granted a patent for one of their headset designs. Today the US Patent and Trademark Office published yet another Apple invention related to a 3D personal display headset system that's titled "Adjusting Media Display in a Personal Display System based on Perspective." It's a patent application focusing on 3D viewing of seating arrangements in theaters and other major live events. This report also briefly covers a second Apple invention that relates to future iOS metaphors that act like real world objects based on the objects having mass that responds to real world, physical forces.
In May we covered a patent application that was related to their 3D personal display headset invention that Apple titled "Automatically adjusting media display in a personal display system." In that report we noted some of the new patent claim additions to this project and pointed to key aspects of the invention in respect to gaming and event experiences (theater, concert hall, ball park stadium etc.).
In today's patent application titled "Adjusting Media Display in a Personal Display System based on Perspective," Apple once again adds additional patent claims to strengthen their IP on this personal 3D headset device. The key additions that were found in today's application directly relate to seating in a theater and perspective relating to the theater experience. Here are some of the main additions to note:
Patent Claim #1: A method for adjusting a display of media using a personal display device, comprising: displaying media on a display of the personal display device; receiving a user instruction to change the user's perspective of the media; adjusting the media, such that the media is skewed to reflect the change in user's perspective of the media; and displaying the adjusted media on the display.
Patent Claim #5: The method of claim 1, further comprising: displaying a representation of a theater; displaying at least two selectable sections in a representation of a seating map of the theater; receiving a user selection of one of the at least two sections; and wherein receiving a user instruction to change the user's perspective of the media further comprises receiving a user instruction to change the user's perspective to the perspective from the selected section.
Patent Claim #8: The method of claim 7, further comprising: receiving a user instruction to select a theater that is not stored on the personal display device; receiving data defining the characteristics of the theater from a remote source; and wherein displaying a representation of a theater further comprises displaying a representation of the received theater.
Patent Claim #12: The method of claim 11, wherein displaying a plurality of selectable user perspective options further comprises: receiving a user request to display a seating map; and displaying the seating map, wherein the seating map comprises options for selecting a section of the seating map.
Patent Claim #13: The method of claim 12, further comprising: receiving a user selection of a particular theater; and displaying the seating map associated with the particular theater.
Patent Claim #14: The method of claim 13, wherein receiving a user selection of a particular theater further comprises extracting theater data associated with the particular theater, wherein the theater data comprises at least one of the theater architecture, graphical overlays for displaying over the media, and data defining audio adjustments.
In Apple's patent FIG. 5 shown below we're able to see a schematic view of an illustrative display screen for selecting seats in a theater.
The rest of the patent description and summary are close to identical to previous patent application for this invention. It's really only the patent claims that have changed.
Apple's patent application 20140351702 was filed in Q3 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Apple Updates their Metaphor Invention
Apple was just granted a patent for iOS Metaphors relating to Aging Files and Transferring Files using Unique Motion Gestures. So what's changed since then? In the big picture, once Apple has filed a patent application that's foundational, meaning laying out the summary and detailed description, the engineering and legal teams then step in a later time to add new patent claims and/or refinements that will further protect specific aspects of their intellectual property.
As an example of this in Apple's current patent application, we see that Apple has focused on adding and strengthening their IP in respect to objects appearing to have a mass that responds to real world, physical forces to make the iOS experience feel and look real. Here's an example of one of the key new patent claims:
Apple's Patent Claim #1: A method performed by one or more processors, comprising: presenting a user interface on a display of a device; displaying graphical objects representing files on the user interface; receiving a request to sort the graphical objects based on the relative sizes of the files the graphical objects represent; and responsive to the request, arranging the graphical objects in a hierarchy on the user interface according to the relative sizes of the files the graphical objects represent, where the arranging includes animating the graphical objects in the user interface so that each object appears to have a mass that responds to real world, physical forces.
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