The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple 43 newly granted patents today. Our granted patent report covers a future autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle that will provide an Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) that's like a radio with preset music channels to choose from. A user will key in destinations like work, school, Walmart, football stadium and so forth into a dashboard system like CarPlay. The user will simply hit one of the destination preset buttons of their choice and the car will drive them to their destination automatically. The second patent that we briefly touch on today is one for a future headset that derived from their acquisition of Germany's Metaio. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Autonomous Navigation System
Apple was granted patent under number 10,451,425 titled "Autonomous navigation system." Apple's invention covers a vehicle configured to autonomously navigate a driving route. The vehicle includes sensor devices which monitor characteristics of the driving route based on the vehicle being navigated along the driving route, and an autonomous navigation system which is interoperable with the sensor devices to: implement a succession of updates to a virtual characterization of the driving route, based on monitoring a succession of manual navigations of the vehicle along the driving route, associate a confidence indicator with the virtual characterization, based on monitoring the succession of updates to the virtual characterization, and enable autonomous navigation of the vehicle along the driving route, based at least in part upon a determination that the confidence indicator at least meets a threshold confidence indication, such that the autonomous navigation system autonomously navigates the vehicle along at least a portion of the driving route, based on controlling one or more control elements of the vehicle and based on a user-initiated command, received at the autonomous navigation system via a user interface of the vehicle, to engage in autonomous navigation of the portion of the driving route.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a schematic block diagram of a vehicle #100 which comprises an autonomous navigation system (ANS); FIG. 2 illustrates an illustration of a vehicle, which includes an ANS and a set of sensor devices, navigating through a region which includes multiple roadway portions of multiple roadways.
Apple's patent FIGS. 5A and 5C above illustrate a user interface associated with the autonomous navigation system providing the user a choice of pre-set navigation routes.
Ahmad Al-Dahle: Special Project Group
Phillip Sieh: Sensors and Actuators Solutions Manager
Benjamin Lyon: Director, Sensing Hardware
Matthew Last: Engineering Manager. Last is now with Waymo.
Representing Virtual Information in a View of a Real Environment
It's been a very active month for Augmented Reality patents from Apple that originated from their acquisition of Germany's Metaio. On October 15, Apple was granted a patent for Augmented Reality 3D Reconstruction and on October 17, a patent application was published covering a future headset related to an AR application for the Home to control your TV and subscription services within a headset.
Today, Apple was granted patent 10,453,267, their second granted patent for a "Method for representing virtual information in a view of a real environment." The first patent for this invention was granted to Apple on March 12, 2019 and covered in our report here.
In Apple's patent FIG. 1A below the user wears a display device, a head mounted display system ("Head Mounted Display", abbreviated to HMD) comprising a display that is part of the system setup; FIG. 1B is an AR system for an iPhone.
In this second granted patent, Apple updates their patent claims to add an important segment covering an "Apparatus" under patent claim #13 as follows: "An apparatus comprising: a location sensor; a camera; one or more processors; and a memory storing computer readable code executable by one or more processors to: initiate capture of an image by the camera; determine an image pose of the image in a reference coordinate system based on location data from the location sensor; receive, from a computing device, a reference image and a reference pose of the reference image in the reference coordinate system; match features of a real object depicted in the image to corresponding features of a real object depicted in the reference image; generate an updated image pose based at least in part on the reference pose in response to determining that the features of the real object depicted in the image match the corresponding features of the real object depicted in the reference image; determine an overlay position of a virtual object in the image based on user input; and initiate transmission, to the computing device, of a request to store an object pose of the virtual object in the reference coordinate system based on the updated image pose and the overlay position."
The "Apparatus" is clarified in new claim #19 as being "a head mounted display device."
Two of the Inventors
Peter Meier: Director – Algorithm Lead, Technology Development Group. Meier was the owner of Metaio GmbH 2003-2015 before joining Apple.
Michael Kuhn: Software Development Manager. Kuhn was VP Product Development at Metaio GmbH for close to a decade where he planned, developed product landscape for Augmented Reality products and applications.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today