or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Interesting Apple filings surface in patent databases
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Interesting Apple filings surface in patent databases

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer has recently filed for patents on several interesting technologies that cover iPods wirelessly communicating with TVs, an online teleconferencing whiteboard, an integrated sensing display, and virtual keys of a touch-screen virtual keyboard.

Wireless iPods and TVs

A patent originally filed with the United States Patent and Trademark office on Oct. 25, 2004 and published on Thursday describes a wireless network in which data and images can be transfered wirelessly from a digital music player to a TV or from a host machine to a digital music player.

In the filing, titled "Image scaling arrangement," Apple describes the invention as "methods and system for transferring images between devices is disclosed. For example, differently scaled images by a host device may automatically and/or selectively be transferred to a media player for display. In turn, appropriately scaled images may be transferred automatically and/or selectively to another display device for example a TV, camera or printer. The selectivity may occur either at the host level or at the player level."

iChat whiteboard

Last week, a patent filing credited to Apple Computer and titled "Method and apparatus for establishing communication between two teleconferencing endpoints" turned up at the European Patent Office.

The filing is being discussed heavily on the Internet as it includes diagrams that suggest Apple could be working on a virtual whiteboard technology that may eventually make its way into applications such as iChat.

In addition to chat and video conferencing windows, figures in the filing appear to show a live communication window in which the residing media content can be manipulated in real-time by parties on both ends of the communication spectrum.

"Such applications sometimes also include data sharing wherein various types of data such as documents, spreadsheets, graphic data, or other types of data, can be shared and manipulated by all participants in the teleconference," Apple software engineers explained in the "Background" to the filing.

Integrated sensing display

Another Apple patent filing -- originally overlooked by the media -- has alos suddenly garnered attention from various online outlets. The filing, titled "Integrated sensing display," was first filed on Jun. 21, 2004 and later published on Jan. 12, 2006.

In the filing, Apple engineers describe a new kind of computer display that can simultaneously take photos while displaying media on the screen.

The idea behind the invention is to wedge thousands of microscopic image sensors between the LCD cells that make up the display. Each sensor would be responsible for capturing a piece of the overall photo. These pieces would then almost instantly be pieced together by software to form a complete image.

Virtual keys of a touch-screen virtual keyboard

Yet another recent patent filing -- credited to familiar Apple fellows Bas Ording and Andre Bartley -- is titled "Activating virtual keys of a touch-screen virtual keyboard."

The invention in the Sept. 16, 2005 filing is described as "a method of operating a touch screen to activate one of a plurality of virtual keys is provided. A touch location is determined based on location data pertaining to touch input on the touch screen, wherein the touch input is intended to activate one of the plurality of virtual keys. Each of the plurality of virtual keys has a set of at least one key location corresponding to it. For each of the virtual keys, a parameter (such as physical distance) is determined for that virtual key that relates the touch location and the set of at least one key location corresponding to that virtual key. The determined parameters are processed to determine one of the virtual keys. For example, the determined one virtual key may be the virtual key with a key location (or more than one key location, on average) being closest to the touch location. A signal is generated indicating activation of the determined one of the virtual keys."
post #2 of 37
I expect to see some really "cool" products from Apple as a result of these filings. The "Think Different" core at the heart of Apple engineering has a history of changing the way consumers use technology.

These patent filings will eventually find their way into some awesome Apple products.
post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
In the filing, Apple engineers describe a new kind of computer display that can simultaneously take photos while displaying media on the screen.

The idea behind the invention is to wedge thousands of microscopic image sensors between the LCD cells that make up the display. Each sensor would be responsible for capturing a piece of the overall photo. These pieces would then almost instantly be pieced together by software to form a complete image.

I think this has a lot less to do with 'taking photos' than it has to do with technologies like the 'virtual keyboard' described immediately after it (because it used photo-like sensors, it could sense multiple 'touches' at once); though it would be cool to be able to look at the screen instead of a webcam in iChat.
post #4 of 37
Any products developed off of these patent filings couldn't come fast enough from my perspective... 8)

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by jdbartlett
I think this has a lot less to do with 'taking photos' than it has to do with technologies like the 'virtual keyboard' described immediately after it (because it used photo-like sensors, it could sense multiple 'touches' at once); though it would be cool to be able to look at the screen instead of a webcam in iChat.

could it be used to scan a document into the computer, dont see why not, would be great for a tablet, imagine scanning in a document and being able to write notes onto it.


Rich
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by jdbartlett
I think this has a lot less to do with 'taking photos' than it has to do with technologies like the 'virtual keyboard' described immediately after it (because it used photo-like sensors, it could sense multiple 'touches' at once); though it would be cool to be able to look at the screen instead of a webcam in iChat.

This idea was developed a couple of years ago... (I wish I could remember the source-maybe it was Texas Instruments?)... for a chip that was both a display and a photo sensor. It just sounds like it's getting closer to product status.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by xUKHCx
could it be used to scan a document into the computer, dont see why not, would be great for a tablet, imagine scanning in a document and being able to write notes onto it.


Rich

That is a genius idea. Even for laptop users it would be great. They would be able to make it quite high resolution aswell.

stu
post #8 of 37
The amazing things technology can do.
Live life in the Left Lane
Reply
Live life in the Left Lane
Reply
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by stustanley
That is a genius idea. Even for laptop users it would be great. They would be able to make it quite high resolution aswell.

stu

if this were the case, i would be willing to spend lots and lots of money on it, for my uni lectures and suppose it would make me the coolest dog in town
post #10 of 37
Wow.
All my dreams have come true! w00t.


<ahem>
I would like to see the cmera thingy in a Mac Book Pro in the near future so when a picture is taken or when using iChat I can look at the screen.
Instead of the bezel. I must look nutters.
But the picture-taking idea (or camera) is super-super-cool, daddy-o.

So yea. Let's see it now, Apple!!!!




Please?
post #11 of 37
Just allow the wireless iPod to boot Mac OS X mobile (much as Windows mobile does on some handhelds and smart phones) and you have the ultimate presentation tool:

1. Make presentation in your Mac o PC using Keynote or PowerPoint.
2. Load it into the wireless iPod.
3. Go to the lecture room and use the wireless iPod to give your presentation. the wireless iPod boots Mac OS X and communicates with a wireless videoprojector. No cables involved. No computer involved.

This will sell millions to the corporate, educational and domestic markets. The halo effect will be tremendous.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by zunx
The halo effect will be tremendous.

There's that halo effect again!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #13 of 37
Let's not get too excited about all of this. Companies get patents in many areas. Most of them never show up as products.

The monitor as a camera, for example, sounds nice. But the logistics of actually manufacturing such a thing is off somewhere in the future, if at all.

There is no technology that would enable that to be built in the next few years.
post #14 of 37
That's true...some of this will take a while.

Still, virtual whiteboard/doc-sharing? Sounds like a move that could be included for consumers in iChat, but also aimed at businesses in a new app called Conference Room or the like. Seriously...if some of this innovative spirit were applied to capturing the business market...it would help businesse a lot, I think, to get better technology.
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by NateRiver
That's true...some of this will take a while.

Still, virtual whiteboard/doc-sharing? Sounds like a move that could be included for consumers in iChat, but also aimed at businesses in a new app called Conference Room or the like. Seriously...if some of this innovative spirit were applied to capturing the business market...it would help businesse a lot, I think, to get better technology.

Now if they only had some way to allow the video conferencing and the collaborative document to coexist...
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
post #16 of 37
1. Exciting patents.

2. Steve Jobs to shareholders: The new products in the pipeline are the best Ive ever seen in my life.

3. Me happy!
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Most of them never show up as products.

That is a BIG understatement. :-)

Quote:
2. Steve Jobs to shareholders: The new products in the pipeline are the best Ive ever seen in my life.

What do you think he was going to say? The products in the pipeline suck big time! In fact if I were you I'd dump the shares of the company ASAP?
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Now if they only had some way to allow the video conferencing and the collaborative document to coexist...

You mean like running iChat and SubEthaEdit at the same time? Oh, I do that already.

The whiteboard idea has been around since before Apple. Xerox were demoing that in the 70s.
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
You mean like running iChat and SubEthaEdit at the same time? Oh, I do that already.

The whiteboard idea has been around since before Apple. Xerox were demoing that in the 70s.

I did have a free whiteboard app in the early web days running on my old Quadra... wish I could remember the name. It wasn't very sophisticated, but it did work.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
You mean like running iChat and SubEthaEdit at the same time? Oh, I do that already.

The whiteboard idea has been around since before Apple. Xerox were demoing that in the 70s.

No, I mean this: http://www.cs.unc.edu/~smithja/facetop/

The current approach, like you use, has your attention split between the video conf, and the document. The video conf adds nothing of real value to the document sharing, because you lose the ability to do the most natural thing, which is to *point* at the document. With FaceTop, it's like you're sitting side by side with the person working on the same computer.

It's a huge leap in usefulness in user studies.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
No, I mean this: http://www.cs.unc.edu/~smithja/facetop/

The current approach, like you use, has your attention split between the video conf, and the document. The video conf adds nothing of real value to the document sharing, because you lose the ability to do the most natural thing, which is to *point* at the document. With FaceTop, it's like you're sitting side by side with the person working on the same computer.

It's a huge leap in usefulness in user studies.

This is great!

keep it real
(pardon me for being so rude, it wasn't me, it was my food)
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
The whiteboard idea has been around since before Apple. Xerox were demoing that in the 70s.

Damn, Apple should have took that idea along with the GUI
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
This is ****** great!

The words Bitchin'

Where's your class?
post #24 of 37
Apple Computer's Insanely Great Business Plan:

1. File zillions of patents
2. ?
3. Profit!
post #25 of 37
Quote:
iChat whiteboard

Last week, a patent filing credited to Apple Computer and titled "Method and apparatus for establishing communication between two teleconferencing endpoints" turned up at the European Patent Office.

The filing is being discussed heavily on the Internet as it includes diagrams that suggest Apple could be working on a virtual whiteboard technology that may eventually make its way into applications such as iChat.

In addition to chat and video conferencing windows, figures in the filing appear to show a live communication window in which the residing media content can be manipulated in real-time by parties on both ends of the communication spectrum.

"Such applications sometimes also include data sharing wherein various types of data such as documents, spreadsheets, graphic data, or other types of data, can be shared and manipulated by all participants in the teleconference," Apple software engineers explained in the "Background" to the filing.

I'd be much more impressed if Groove hadn't released this product 5 years ago. Apple is really behind the times on this one, I don't know how they would get a patent based on their writeup here since it's so similar sounding. Microsoft bought Groove a few years ago, so all of this is going to be included in the next version of Office. More info at http://www.groove.net
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Now if they only had some way to allow the video conferencing and the collaborative document to coexist...

This would be a killer app for the edu market. Put up on the virtual blackboard and allow others to collaborate via ichat and then keep the doc as a pdf.

Wow.
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by the_snitch
Apple Computer's Insanely Great Business Plan:

1. File zillions of patents
2. ?
3. Profit!


Time to go to iWork! iWork all night!
Search for underpants hey!
We won't stop until we have underpants!
Yum tum yummy tum hey!


post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by TednDi
This would be a killer app for the edu market. Put up on the virtual blackboard and allow others to collaborate via ichat and then keep the doc as a pdf.

Wow.

I can tell you that schools, at least those here in NYC, are buying these "smartboards". My daughters high school already has four, and they are planning on buying more.

This integration would be even better, but, in a different way.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by TednDi
This would be a killer app for the edu market. Put up on the virtual blackboard and allow others to collaborate via ichat and then keep the doc as a pdf.

Wow.

Welcome to the end 20th century... this has already been done years ago. Microsoft Netmeeting already had this exact feature (ex PDF)since Windows 95, but therea are many 3rd party apps available. At the school where I did my undergrad and grad school in engineering we've done this exact thing many times. Sometimes it's useful, sometimes not. Definitely something I could and still can live without.
I still do a lot of conferencing and I really don't miss seeing the mug of the guy I'm talking to.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by the_snitch
The words Bitchin'

Where's your class?

Sorry I'll tone down the rough edges in future.
good name
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by michaelb
1. Exciting patents.

2. Steve Jobs to shareholders: The new products in the pipeline are the best Ive ever seen in my life.

3. Me happy!

Here here! oh sorry, hear hear.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
Welcome to the end 20th century... this has already been done years ago. Microsoft Netmeeting already had this exact feature (ex PDF)since Windows 95, but therea are many 3rd party apps available.

I think you need to read the page I linked to. What TednDi is referring to has never been done before, without ~$20k in special hardware. (aka ClearBoard)

It's not just collaborative documents.

Quote:
At the school where I did my undergrad and grad school in engineering we've done this exact thing many times. Sometimes it's useful, sometimes not. Definitely something I could and still can live without.

Yeah... the previous attempts at solutions have either just plain sucked (NetMeeting), or have required rather expensive proprietary hardware. A truly useful version requires human-to-human interaction, which brings me to...

Quote:
I still do a lot of conferencing and I really don't miss seeing the mug of the guy I'm talking to.

Are you collaborating, or just talking? For 'just' talking, you still lose a lot of visual cues on communication, but it can be dealt with. I just entered a corporate environment where I have two or three phone conferences a week, and I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate them. Truly. But it's dealable.

For collaboration, however, the visual cues are almost a requirement to making it seamless.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
post #33 of 37
The Wired article on FaceTop specifically mentions that the developers are interested in hooking it to iChat.

Also that the Quartz engine in OSX made it a snap to prototype, and that a Windows version will have to wait till Vista.

Very OSX centric at the moment, in other words, so I think Apple should grab these guys up and do whatever negotiations are necessary with UNC to keep it that way.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
The Wired article on FaceTop specifically mentions that the developers are interested in hooking it to iChat.

Also that the Quartz engine in OSX made it a snap to prototype, and that a Windows version will have to wait till Vista.

Very OSX centric at the moment, in other words, so I think Apple should grab these guys up and do whatever negotiations are necessary with UNC to keep it that way.

I agree.

I wrote the original FaceTop. The prototype took me 45 minutes, and it was *solely* because of how much raw power was in the OS.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
I agree.

I wrote the original FaceTop. The prototype took me 45 minutes, and it was *solely* because of how much raw power was in the OS.

Really! So, you're not just a pretty face.
post #36 of 37
Awwwwww! mel thinks I'm pretty!

*flutters eyelashes*
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
Reply
post #37 of 37
I already *don't* use the iSight or iChat, so any whiteboard software will be another thing that I probably won't use. I hope enough people find it useful.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Interesting Apple filings surface in patent databases