On October 9, 2008, the US Patent & Trademark Office published an Apple patent application relating to voice activation technology that is being developed for the iPod, iPhone and Apple TV. The patent notes that the voice activation system could be robust and context sensitive. The voice activation can also be utilized without any preparatory user action with respect to the portable electronic device. The patent presents examples of voice commands relating to music, business meetings or calendar events, iPhone camera controls, various voicemail commands and more.
On July 31, 2008, the US Patent & Trademark Office published an Apple patent application that generally relates to receiving broadcasts and in particular to systems and methods for communicating and storing information associated with data within a broadcast. Apple's patent discusses broadcast services that will be made available from iTunes that will work with a new add-on accessory for the iPod and iPhone. The proposed accessory would also work with Yahoo and Microsoft subscription services - which make you wonder if Apple is contemplating such a service of their own in the not too distant future. This report also introduces another similar iPod accessory that will be available for the iPod later this year from a third party.
On March 20, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a new patent application of Apple's that reveals they're working on a next generation 3D Holographic-like display system. In one application, Apple's display system would automatically authenticate a user, greet them and provide a customized desktop for just that user. Something along the lines of how new computer car systems will adjust the seat and controls for a particular driver. The Holographic-like displays are based on a projection system and in many cases the impression given is that these systems would apply to applications as diverse as video conferencing, scientific modeling, entertainment and perhaps even forensics. Think of the TV show "Bones" and their use of a device called holographic "angelator." One of the unique aspects of this invention is that users won't be hassled with 3D glasses or headgear of any kind.