The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 40 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover three inventions related to 3D mapping, vehicle location for a future feature of CarPlay and an Apple Watch related design win. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Granted Patent: Depth Mapping with Enhanced Resolution
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to methods and systems for three-dimensional (3D) mapping and specifically to extraction of features from 3D map data.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted below is a schematic, pictorial illustration of a 3D user interface system. FIG. 1 further notes that the user interface is based on a 3D imaging assembly #22, which captures 3D scene information that includes at least a part of the body of a human user. It looks like Apple just inherited the heart of the technology behind Microsoft's Kinect.
The patent notes that embodiments of the present invention address use novel image processing techniques to enhance the resolution of depth mapping systems that operate by projecting and capturing an image of a spot pattern, so as to enable fine features to be extracted from a scene. These techniques take advantage of heuristic knowledge of the features that are to be extracted, and are specifically adapted to resolve features having a set of elongate appendages, such as the fingers of a hand.
The disclosed techniques start by finding the 3D location of the feature of interest (such as the hand) in the depth map, and then systematically connect the spots appearing on the feature in order to extract separate, respective contours of the appendages (such as the fingers). These embodiments may be used, for example, to find the posture of the hand and fingers, and thus to detect gestures of the hand in order to control an application running on a computer.
Apple credits the original PrimeSense engineer Amiad Gurman as the sole inventor of granted patent 9,019,267 which was originally filed in Q4 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Other Related Patent Reports
One: Apple Granted a Patent that will allow Hand Signals to Control a Computer App or Apple TV via 3D Depth Mapping
Two: Apple Inherits PrimeSense's IP Relating to a 3D Scanning Engine
Three: Apple Wins a 3D Mapping Laser Beam Projector System Patent
Granted Patent: Vehicle Location in Weak Location Signal Scenarios
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to marking the location of a vehicle, and more specifically to determining when a vehicle has entered a parked state and marking the location of the parking spot.
According to Apple, a mobile computing device can be used to locate a vehicle parking location in weak location signal scenarios (e.g., weak, unreliable, or unavailable GPS or other location technology). For example, the mobile device can determine when a vehicle in which the mobile device is located has entered into a parked state or is in an urban canyon.
Likewise, GPS or other primary location technology may be unavailable at the time the mobile device entered into a parked state (e.g., inside a parking structure). In some embodiments, the location of the mobile device at a time corresponding to when the vehicle is identified as being parked can be determined using the first location technology as supplemented with sensor data of the mobile device. After the location of the mobile device at a time corresponding to when the vehicle is identified as being parked is determined, the determined location can be associated with an identifier for the current parking location. This identifier can later be used by an app on the device to locate the vehicle.
Apple credits Jason Skinder, Stephen Leman, Bradford Moore, Seeko Pylappan, Christopher Blumenberg, Marcel van Os and Devrim Varoglu as the inventors of granted patent 9,019,129 which was originally filed in Q and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent.
Other Related Patent Reports
One: Apple Reveals an Advanced Indoor Mobile Location Application for Finding a Vehicle in a Parking Structure
Two: Apple Invents Seamless Outdoor to Indoor Map Transitioning
Three: Apple Reveals Advanced Automotive Access & Control System
Granted Design Patent: Apple Watch Band Attachment
Apple was granted a design patent today for an Apple Watch Band attachment. Apple notes on one of their Apple Watch webpages that "A different band can really change the look of Apple Watch. So we created a full range of them in a variety of materials. The grooves in each case are precision engineered and CNC machined to ensure a perfect fit with any band." The graphic below shows the actual three contact mechanism on the inside of the band attachment along with the granted patent figure below.
Apple's design patent number D727,787 for the Apple Watch band attachment was filed in Q3 2014 just before the Apple Watch was first introduced. This is the fourth granted design patent report this year covering an aspect of the Apple Watch. You could find the others here: one, two and three.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
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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 Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 5am to 7pm MST and sporadically over the weekend.