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Apple granted patents on push-to-talk, double-sided touch panel

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published 26 newly granted patents for Apple, and among them were the Cupertino company's take on a push-to-talk feature and a double-sided touch-sensitive panel, both of which could possibly appear in future iPhones.

ptt


No current models of Apple's bestselling iPhone support the Push-to-Talk (PTT) feature that many carriers have made available for years now. Users do have access to a number of apps in the iTunes App Store that can reproduce PTT, but U.S. Patent No. 8,447,341 indicates that Apple has at least considered integrating it into a model of its phone.

The patent notes that telecommunications networks exist that enable devices to directly access each other through a digital two-way radio feature.

Apple's invention, though, describes "a method and system to provide push-to-talk from one user to another in a wireless packet data telecommunications network." It includes a packet data network with at least one mobile station, a radio access network, a location server, registrar, database server, and PTT server that connects PTT users across the network.

Given the company's secrecy about forthcoming products, it's difficult to gauge how likely PTT is to show up in a future iPhone model. In 2010, the company was revealed to be exploring PTT capabilities, but such features haven't emerged in any models to date.

The filing lists the patent as a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/028,086, filed on December 21, 2001. That patent application, entitled "Push-to-Talk Telecommunications System Utilizing a Voice-Over-IP Network," was originally filed by Nortel Networks. The patent granted on Tuesday was likely a part of the portfolio Apple and other companies bought in 2011 for $4.5 billion.

flex


Included among the 26 patents granted on Tuesday is one for a "double-sided touch sensitive panel and flex circuit bonding." The patent ? U.S. Patent No. 8,446,386 ? relates to the creation of a multi-touch sensor using a substrate with column and row traces on either side. The process bonds printed flex circuits to directly opposing attachment areas of a substrate.

The patent cites the desirability of keeping "the overall size of the sensor panel as small as possible" as a reason to "have two flex circuits connect to directly opposing sides of the sensor panel." It's therefore likely that this technology would go toward Apple's continual push to make each of its devices thinner than the previous generation.

Other patents granted on Tuesday include ones for "gesture control of multimedia editing applications," "methods and apparatus for decreasing power consumption and bus activity," "techniques for versioning file systems," "technique for visually compositing a group of graphical objects," a "system for optimizing graphics operations," and a "touch pad for handheld device."
post #2 of 12

Somehow I don't think the future product tagline "Touch me from the inside" will be a success. 1wink.gif

post #3 of 12
This makes me think of applications for wearable computers more than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Somehow I don't think the future product tagline "Touch me from the inside" will be a success. 1wink.gif

Touch Up Inside still makes me giggle when I'm using Xcode.

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post #4 of 12
As an avid user of Voxer I can honestly say that I would enjoy having built-in PTT support. Yes, this is an older technology of the Nextel variety but I find it very useful.....they same way text messaging vs calling on the phone is useful.
post #5 of 12

26! Just imagine how many patents the leader in innovation, Samsung, must have received!!!

 

Too many to count probably, which is why we don't hear about it.

post #6 of 12
doesn't the playstation vita have touch on the back and front?
post #7 of 12
Probably more a siri expansion. Push to give siri commands type of technology.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonevw View Post

doesn't the playstation vita have touch on the back and front?

On the back yes, not sure about the front though.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonevw View Post

doesn't the playstation vita have touch on the back and front?

Even if it does, what matters is how it's achieved, as described in the claims section of the patent application.

post #10 of 12
I've got a proposal: An entity (especially a patent hoarding entity) has 3 years after a patent is filed to show the world they're actively pursuing said project, and not just tucking away the patent filing in a drawer, waiting until someone else actually creates same product.

If you have nothing after 3 years, the provisional patent goes away. You can't re-file for 6 months, in which time another entity can come in and file their own provisional patent application. Patents can be granted on duplicate claims, but after that it's a race to a real product, after which you receive the patent.

Or just leave it as is because it's status quo.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

I've got a proposal: An entity (especially a patent hoarding entity) has 3 years after a patent is filed to show the world they're actively pursuing said project, and not just tucking away the patent filing in a drawer, waiting until someone else actually creates same product.

If you have nothing after 3 years, the provisional patent goes away. You can't re-file for 6 months, in which time another entity can come in and file their own provisional patent application. Patents can be granted on duplicate claims, but after that it's a race to a real product, after which you receive the patent.

Or just leave it as is because it's status quo.

That's somewhat along the lines of Australia's patent laws tho they give the patenting entity 5 years to put it to use if I remember right. (That memory thing gets iffier by the year1hmm.gif) I also don't know if they've ever enforced it or not.

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post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

I've got a proposal: An entity (especially a patent hoarding entity) has 3 years after a patent is filed to show the world they're actively pursuing said project...

The USPTO kind of does this already, by requiring increasingly steep maintenance fees at the 3-year, 7-year and 11-year marks in order to keep the patent in force.

 

If the patent holder doesn't see any money to be made, they'll not pay the fee and the patent will be categorized as "abandoned".

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