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Apple Wins a Patent for a 3D User Interface using Depth Sensors

Apple granted a Patent for their Original iPad and Multi-Mode Human Interface Engine

10.5A Single Granted Patent
1AF 55 COVER ipad


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 55 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's granted patent for the original iPad, and more importantly, for its Multi-Mode Human Interface (MMHI) engine.


According to Apple, a small form factor electronic device, the iPad, includes a processor and an interface engine in communication with the processor and a sensor coupled to the processor. The sensor is arranged to detect at least one environmental factor and pass an indication of the detected environmental factor to the processor. The processor and the interface engine cooperate to determine if an environment of the electronic device has changed, identify an updated human interface when the environment has changed, and cause the small form factor electronic device to present the updated human interface only if a level of interactivity corresponding to the updated human interface is at least greater than a threshold level of interactivity.


One such example of such an interface is its ability to know if the device is inactive and automatically shutting it down to conserve battery life. The iPad's MMHI is also responsible for speech recognition, haptics and various modes such as inertial mode, an audio interface mode and more. Over time this incorporated the use of Siri.


2AF 88 IPAD + MMHI - figs 1, 2,3,4,5

Apple's patent FIG. 1 illustrated above shows a simplified block description of multi-modal human interface (MMHI) engine; FIG. 2 shows a representative tablet device having an associated MMHI engine along the lines shown in FIG. 1; FIGS. 3-5 graphically illustrate the ability of MMHI engine to update a MMHI in accordance with various embodiments.


Apple's granted patent 9,417,665 was originally filed in Q2 2010 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.


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