Maps, Indoor Location
Apple invents Next-Gen Augmented Reality Maps Requiring Smartglasses or iPhone with AR Camera on Dash
Apple Reveals Future iDevices with Miniature Gas Sensors for measuring gas levels in different Rooms in your Home
Apple Files a Major Rewrite of their Invention Related to Indoor Maps to Focus on All-Things Related to Malls
Apple adds a Major Set of Patent Claims to their Invention Covering Maps with Turn-by-Turn Navigation for CarPlay
Apple Reveals Patent Pending Maps App Advancement that Integrates Hail-Riding & Table Reservation Services
Apple Indoor Mapping Invention Automatically Determines the Mall Floor a user is on and Updates the Floor Plan
Apple Invents a Sophisticated Positioning Accuracy System to Assist Users Navigating through Urban Canyons
A New Apple iBeacon Indoor Mapping Patent sheds more light on Future Location Services within Buildings
On December 11, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals Apple's new iOS 8 Maps App Night Mode coming to CarPlay and working in sync with special in-vehicle conditions. On one hand this is a patent fulfilled with night mode for maps debuting with iOS 8. Yet on the other hand it is a patent application that foretells of the Maps App night mode working differently with vehicles using CarPlay.
Apple was busy in the summer of 2013 acquiring several mass transit app companies such as HopStop, Locationary and most notably Embark that had a great app for customizing trips in your city or in a new city you're visiting. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their future mass transit "Commute App" that's now in the works.
On October 16, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an invention relating to future iDevices and CarPlay that will be able to use seamless outdoor to indoor map transitioning. The mapping system could start with in-car navigation to a parking lot and then transition to an indoor parking map and eventually further transition to the inside your destination, be it the inside of a mall, a school, a convention center and beyond. In 2013 Apple acquired WifiSLAM and this invention likely borrows some of their technology.
On September 4, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new visual reminder system for the iPhone that could incorporate pop-up maps as a handy reminder of the location of your appointment. Our report also provides you with links to several other mildly interesting patents published today covering varying technologies. One is about an interesting sapphire process (which we covered earlier in a European filing weeks ago) to strengthen the material. The others cover camera related technologies, integrated pressure sensors for displays and a way to make mobile device displays even lighter and brighter. The last one covers a possible new Maps UI that will use a new virtual reality gimmick allowing users to experience a form of X-Ray vision effect.
Apple Introduces Sensor-Assisted Location Technology that will combat the Problems associated with Urban Canyons
Earlier today we posted a report titled "Apple Advances Automatic Vehicle Location Services for Parking." It was one of three new location based patent filings revealed today by the US Patent Office. In a third filing today titled "Sensor-Assisted Location Fix," Apple describes location scenarios beyond parking and discusses location-centric problems and solutions associated with driving in urban canyons, which is a powerful image when you think of cities like New York, Hong Kong, Osaka, Beijing, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago and others that have massive buildings in their downtown business cores.
Apple's intent to create a parking app for future iDevices began to surface with a pair of inventions (one, two) that we reported on back in 2013. Since that time there have been two follow-up patents in 2014 including this one and an important second one that we'll point to later in this report. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's third patent application of the year that relates to finding your car or any vehicle in an outside parking lot, a marina, inside a Parkade and beyond. Last Saturday we posted a report titled "Apple and Google Headed for an Indoor Location Services War" illustrating that indoor location services are going to go far beyond just parking applications. Yet for now, we have to wonder if Apple's new parking location app will make it into iOS 8 for the iPhone 6. The good news is that we'll get the answer to that question in just a few weeks' time.
On July 3, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published another security related patent application from Apple. Apple's first security invention published earlier today revealed a "Dual-Factor Authentication System for the iTunes Store." In this second security-centric patent application, Apple reveals advanced security based on location. Apple covers "fixed locations" like your home or Office and "mobile locations" like when you're shopping, at a coffee shop or inside your car (or other vehicles). The specific system designed for the car is obviously going to be a part of Apple's forthcoming CarPlay. Whether Apple will roll the fixed location interfaces into their forthcoming "Home" app is not known at this time. Intelligent location-based security will be able to change your security settings on the fly.
ZDNet's David Braue posted a great report last week titled "Apple Maps' worldview is now better than Google Maps." In his summary Braue stated that Apple "had its share of problems, but Apple Maps is back with a vengeance. Powered by some jaw-dropping 3D graphics and enjoying an aggressive multi-platform strategy, Apple is finally set to redefine our geospatial expectations – and take Google down a few notches." Yes, Apple's mapping team is hungry and back with a vengeance and today the US Patent Office published a whopping 28 mapping inventions from Apple with many of them covering those jaw-dropping 3D graphics and so much more.
Back in late March Apple acquired indoor-GPS Company called WifiSLAM signaling that Apple could be entering the indoor mobile location services business sometime in the future. WifiSLAM's software allows a user's smartphone to pinpoint its location (and the location of friends) in real-time to 2.5m accuracy using only ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings. Today, a key patent application from Apple titled "3D Position Tracking for Panoramic Imagery Navigation" was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. On one hand, the patent is about bringing detailed street-views to Apple's Map application. On the other hand, we get a smidgen of understanding as to why Apple acquired WifiSLAM. Apple's patent filing is very stingy in providing us with details about the second half of their invention. Apple states that "In some implementations, forward and backward translation enables the user to enter an indoor panorama of a structure (e.g., a commercial venue), " like a store for making a purchase. Although Apple has recently taken a bruising over their Map application's turn-by-turn navigation inaccuracies, it's crystal clear that they're charging ahead with determination to bring newly advanced services to Maps in the future.
Social networking on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are a huge success with today's in-crowd. Today's social apps typically use matching algorithms to match members with members who are deemed compatible by with their interests and values. As of today, Apple has tippy-toed into this arena with their introductory social network for music called Ping and will be wholly embracing Twitter in their upcoming iOS 5 operating system this fall. But it doesn't look like Apple is satisfied just yet. A new patent application that surfaced today indicates that Apple is working on a new iOS based social networking app that will use a few new methods for matching people up. They include uniquely sharing data from your iOS device as well as sharing location data on several levels. The app could identify where you currently are, like a club, but also inform others where you've been such as Paris, New York or events like Macworld or Apple's WWDC so as to provide potential new friends with an ice-breaker for conversation. Apple's proposed app is an odd entry and one that appears to only represent a single part within a larger app framework for a future more complete social networking app. For now, it's interesting but half baked.