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Apple investigating syncing between iPhone and car

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Apple iOS chief Scott Forstall is among the list of inventors in a new patent application related to syncing an iPhone with a vehicle.

The filing, published this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and discovered by AppleInsider, is named "Synchronizing Mobile and Vehicle Devices." Apple first issued the application with the USPTO in May of this year.

Among the four inventors is Forstall, who serves as senior vice president of the iOS Software division at Apple. Forstall is a key member of Apple's executive team who was described by author Adam Lashinsky earlier this year as Apple's "CEO-in-waiting."

The filing describes location information being transmitted between a vehicle to a mobile device, such as an iPhone. That location and sensor data shared between the two devices would then be used to aid in features like turn-by-turn navigation.

The application focuses on location and positioning data being shared between a vehicle and an iPhone to improve navigation, but other information could be transferred between the two devices. Among the potential uses listed in the application is syncing of contacts between the devices.

Patent


Illustrations included with the filing show a number of potential settings for synchronizing an iPhone with a vehicle. Users are given the option to "Track Location Using Vehicle GPS." If a location signal is lost, users can determine their current location based on the last known position, otherwise known as dead reckoning.

Though the iPhone includes a GPS radio, it can sometimes take time to lock on a satellite signal and the information can be inaccurate. It's for this reason that each iPhone maintains a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers, in order to help the handset rapidly and accurately calculate its current location.

"Calculating a phone's location using just GPS satellite data can take up to several minutes," Apple explained in a public statement on its location services last year. "iPhone can reduce this time to just a few seconds by using Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data to quickly find GPS satellites, and even triangulate its location using just Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data when GPS is not available (such as indoors or in basements)."

Other inventors on the application are Gregory N. Christie, Robert E. Borchers, and Kevin Tiene.
post #2 of 20

There is so much prior art for this it's unreal. Ford Sync has been around for YEARS already, despite whenever this was filed.

 

I'm so tired of patent ridiculousness.

post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

There is so much prior art for this it's unreal. Ford Sync has been around for YEARS already, despite whenever this was filed.

 

I'm so tired of patent ridiculousness.

 

You didn't actually read the article, did you? This has very different functionality.

post #4 of 20

I aint worried about a stupid ford sync, I can't get my calender to sync between my Macbook, iPad and ipod correctly

post #5 of 20

.. Ford Sync... but then I'd need to buy an Ford. 

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

There is so much prior art for this it's unreal. Ford Sync has been around for YEARS already, despite whenever this was filed.

I'm so tired of patent ridiculousness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

You didn't actually read the article, did you? This has very different functionality.

i dunno, i kinda agree with shidell ... seems like most anyone with a bit of tech background might come up with the same idea ... (have you ever thought of it?) ... so it seems "obvious". maybe you have a unique algorithm, but isn't that then copyright law and not patent?

again with the 1s and 0s.
post #7 of 20
Surely they mean syncing with a device in the car rather than the car itself. Syncing with the car would be:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=VKCiJhA7qVo#t=28s


I'd quite like to be able to just sync one iOS device with another e.g I have a song or playlist on my iPhone, I should be able to shunt it over to my iPad via direct wifi and vice versa.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

There is so much prior art for this it's unreal. Ford Sync has been around for YEARS already, despite whenever this was filed.

I'm so tired of patent ridiculousness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

You didn't actually read the article, did you? This has very different functionality.

i dunno, i kinda agree with shidell ... seems like most anyone with a bit of tech background might come up with the same idea ... (have you ever thought of it?) ... so it seems "obvious". maybe you have a unique algorithm, but isn't that then copyright law and not patent?

again with the 1s and 0s.

This appears to be primarily about sharing sensor data between the phone and the car navigation systems, not syncing music and controlling devices. If that has not been done before then it is reasonable to patent it. No good pulling the old "that was obvious" card again.
post #9 of 20
Will it include something that will power down or even turn off your Bluetooth when you leave the car. So the dang thing stops searching and eating my roommates battery (which he complains about all the freaking time). Maybe record your location and when you return there ask if you want to turn Bluetooth back on.
post #10 of 20

What I find most curious in this posting is the possible display tech in the top/bottom bezels. Very interesting, although these images are likely just references to the camera, gyro, etc. 

 

I does pique one's curiousity though...

post #11 of 20

Cars are an industry Apple could reinvent. Big car companies all in financial trouble, stuff all difference between many cars, real innovations like Autodrive sorely lacking. Industrial design matters. Jony Ive would love to design something as complex as a car I imagine, something new.

post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
Cars are an industry Apple could reinvent.

 

Tesla needs to go to Apple and say, "We'd like you to make our batteries."

 

One year later, Tesla releases updates to their line that include 400 mile range batteries as the low-end option and 600 mile range in the high-end option, with the latter being even cheaper than their current low-end 160 mile option. 80% charge in three hours, full charge in six.

 

Tesla goes on to bankrupt everyone else.

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Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #13 of 20

About f**king time.  If there's ANY area in consumer technology that could use a major overhaul.. its the mobile entertainment systems, touchscreen navs and control panels currently available in vehicles.  I am continually amazed how outdated, intuitive and difficult these systems are to use.  From the experience of using them in my own cars, to investigating whats available from aftermarket big names (Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine, Sony, etc) to even driving rental cars on biz/personal trips.  The vast majority of them SUCK.  That absolutely includes the Ford Sync "MyTouch".  I mean it is horrible, easily the worst of the bunch.  Its so bad, Ford dealerships have a free 2 hour class where they have to TEACH people how to use MyTouch controls.  A great example that I personally experienced, was that to do something as to change the radio station:  I needed to first pull the car over and park (because there is no way you can do this for the first time while driving and keeping your eyes on the road).  Then figure out the menu system first, with the forward/back/up/down arrows.  Then change the default settings from preset, to manual tuning.  Then adjust to the radio station I wanted.  There was no way in hell my 65 year mother (who rented the car) could have figured all of that out.

 

I'm not a huge Android fan, but under these circumstances.. I'd gladly welcome an Android Jelly Bean touchscreen interface.. over whats available from pretty much every OEM or aftermarket manufacter.  You would think that by now, with the majority of consumers using smartphones and very familiar with smartphone interfaces.  That  OEM & aftermarket manufacters would have figured out a way to make the smartphone more integrated.. or atleast "borrowed" some of the concepts we've seen in smartphones.   Why not just integrate the technology from the smartphone into the car (which it seems this AI article is about).  AM/FM Radio, Satellite Radio, Streamed Media, Flash/HDD stored Media, Apps, Email, Phone, SMS, GPS, Browser, Voice prompt/search/command and Climate Controls can all be performed by smartphone or by using a smartphone interface.  Yes all of this tech is already available in cars today, but its so difficult to use.. people generally do not bother outside of whats necessary.  Even then why are Touchscreen upgrade options ridiculously priced, up to $8500 on some vehicles.  OEMs, Aftermarket & Smartphone manufacters should work together to provide a solution where a smartphone (or permanently installed smartphone backend) does most of the heavy lifting (OS, hardware, processing).  And the touchscreen is more of dummy interface to interact with that.  Not only would it be cheaper, but it would be much more intuitive and tons easier to update.  Instead they recreate the wheel, and its not even round!

 

Apple haters always love to bitch about how Apple doesn't innovate.  And this is a perfect example why Apple DOES innovate.. and why they are worlds most successful tech company.  Because they have a unique talent for taking existing technology (like all of the things I've stated above) and combining it to create an unseen level of creativity, design, craftsmanship and ergonomics.  You are literally blown away by the before & after results that their products have on the market.  You wonder why didnt we do things like this before?  I can say with extreme confidence that Apple has completely changed the way we use Personal Media Players (iPod), Smartphones (iPhone), Tablets (iPad) and even the Macbook Air (Ultrabooks).. to say why didnt we use those products like this before.  There is an absolute stark difference of how the market looked before.. and after.. each of these products were introduced.

 

I beg that they bring their unique creativity & design to the automobile market.  And look very much forward to the day we get to experience the "after" effect of what they have created.  I cant wait for the day, I get to say "And this is what my car's touchscreen Nav looked like before the Apple  iAutoXXX".

post #14 of 20
What we really need is an agreement and a standard interface between phones, cars, and other devices. Car manufacturers are already staring to add USB ports and iPod docks to some cars. I would really like to see a standard charging and sync solutions built into cars that work with all phones. As much of an Apple fan as I am, I would be disappointed to see cars with yet another proprietary interface that only works with Apple. Then other cars that only work with Samsung, etc.... Technology companies have been going out of their way to make sure devices and accessories are incompatible and here in 2012 we still have 100 different varieties of charging adapters, computer adapters, audio interfaces, etc that all stores have to carry.
post #15 of 20
I'd love to see Apple get into the car audio business. If people think cable TV interfaces are a mess try using an after market car audio deck. I just purchased one recently and it's the most confusing thing I've ever used. I've got to believe Apple could do something in this space.
post #16 of 20

I just wish the federal and/or local governments along with companies like Google and Apple would work together to digitize our roads and highways. There are dozens of patents already that address RFID on the roads and street signs. In my imagination I can see free wifi along every road, all street signs would be smart and the cars would be able to interact with the signals from the road. For example there is a street sign near my house that says school zone 25 MPH when children are present. No one has ever driven 25 on that street regards of children or not. What should happen is when children are present the sign should just change to a flashing 25 and your car instrument panel will beep and flash as well if you are exceeding the speed limit. And that is just a small example. The industry is unlimited except by patent trolls who will prevent the entire infrastructure from ever being deployed.

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post #17 of 20

Sound like the ford sync destination app that allows ford sync to phone navigation, address book etc. Here is a 2010 article about it

 

http://www.talkandroid.com/24987-ford-sync-destinations-for-android-pushes-google-maps-to-car/

post #18 of 20
FYI, the dead reckoning GPS feature would reside in the vehicle, so it seems like the iPhone would be polling the vehicle for location data when the iPhone's location data is lacking.

As many of you probably know, there are many consumer GPS devices with far better performance than the iPhone, without reliance on wifi or cell phone towers (Toyota's nav systems, Garmin, even Nokia's little Bluetooth GPS in my experiences). Apple shouldn't be making disparaging comments about GPS just because they have crappy GPS in their phones.
post #19 of 20

My new car has a sim slot which connects to the entertainment and navigation systems to supply street view from google maps, as well as any other internet info I would like to use. It also serves as a wifi hotspot so I can connect up to 8 devices with wifi. Unlimited data for $15/month. Audi S5.

Eph

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Eph

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post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


This appears to be primarily about sharing sensor data between the phone and the car navigation systems, not syncing music and controlling devices. If that has not been done before then it is reasonable to patent it. No good pulling the old "that was obvious" card again.


It's not even remotely reasonable to patent.  It's COMPLETELY obvious, and not just to someone having "ordinary skill in the art" but to anyone on the street.

 

If the patent office grants this one, a patent inspector needs to be fired.

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